How to convey confidence at work

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Photo credit: Andrei Zarubaika, Shutterstock

Photo credit: Andrei Zarubaika, Shutterstock

We’ve talked before about the fear of success and how it makes it difficult for people to reach their career goals. However, one way people hold themselves back is by losing confidence as they take on more leadership or senior roles.

Maybe you’re intimidated by your colleagues or you’re not yet used to the new responsibilities. Regardless, you have to build and convey confidence if you want to be a successful leader. To do so, Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins, the authors of Own the Room: Discover Your Signature Voice to Master Your Leadership Presence, advise conditioning yourself mentally, physically, and technically, starting with believing that you deserve your position:

Mental conditioning. A key factor to conveying confidence is first believing that you belong. One of our clients, Jason, struggled with this when he was first promoted to senior manager. His new position required him to spend much more face time with senior executives and at times even the CEO. Often the youngest at the table, he acquiesced to the more senior executives in meetings, and hesitated to challenge their point of view. While Jason wished for the day when the senior-level executives would see him as a peer, he refused to see himself as such. Because he did not believe that he had a place at the table, his impact was limited. Jason’s first requirement was to replace this limiting belief with one that actually helped him. When we asked Jason, “What value do you bring to the table? What’s your value proposition?” he had a hard time answering. But when we flipped the question and asked, “What would be lost if you were not at the table?” a light bulb went off and Jason was quick to list what differentiated him from the rest. His mindset shifted to what he had to offer rather than what he didn’t.

Additionally, it’s key to practice building yourself up. So speak up for personal issues, keep track of your past accomplishments, and work to support your ideas and assertions with case studies or data or other research. If you are confident in yourself, it will come across to higher ups.

What do you think? How will you assert yourself more in work situations?

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Social Media and Editorial Intern at Idealist.org

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