How are you going to influence anyone to take a chance on you if you can’t convince yourself? Confidence in yourself and your abilities gives people a sense of assurance that, in fact, you DO know what you are talking about. If you don’t feel confident, that great suggestion you have is going to go unheard – then someone else will get up to bat and get a home run.
If you are good at what you do, or have an intuitive sense about things or can see the bigger picture (or the details) better than others, have the belief in yourself to feel good. I know a woman who always seemed to have really good ideas but it wasn’t until she turned fifty that she had the confidence to speak her ideas with authority and assertiveness. She missed so many good opportunities.
Here are three ways to develop influence-generating confidence in the workplace are:
- Find your voice: In the 2008 election, seasoned politician Hilary Clinton “lost” her voice to Barack Obama – and with it lost her party’s nomination. How? Before Obama was on the scene, Clinton was sharp, upbeat and assured. Suddenly, facing the suave Obama, it was as though Clinton forgot who she was and all she stood for, all her life. Here are the four things you need to look for to find your voice:
- Clarity – when you speak in your own voice, your message is clear. People may like it or not, but at least they understand what you are saying
- Authenticity – you aren’t making it up, it’s what you know and believe
- Congruency – there’s a match between what you say and how you act
- Passion – you are jazzed up about what you are saying. You don’t have to be overbearing and loud. Passion shines through even in a whisper.
- Management guru Stephen Covey said, “One word expresses the pathway to greatness: voice. Those on this path find their voice and inspire others to find theirs. The rest never do.” Find your voice
- Act “as if’ you were totally confident
- Feel how it feels inside and how you stand, walk and carry yourself
- A confident woman shows herself before she even speaks. Practice confidence until it’s natural
- Grow a pair
- Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. Don’t let anyone tell you to stop or that you can’t or you’re wrong. Defend your positions. Learn to argue so you don’t feel so intimidated
- Practice debating and arguing with people you know and make it a game (one that you both know you’re playing)