In any workplace role, competence is essential for success. However, in most cases, competence will only take you so far. Confidence goes a long way, especially in the workplace. In most situations, people rise in a company not just because of their skills, but because of how they carry themselves, speak to others, and present ideas.But confidence at work doesn’t always come easy, in fact, for most it’s a struggle. The good news is, anyone can be confident. With practice, and simple adjustments, you can start to sound more confident and eventually feel more confident in the office.
Here are some key actions you can take:
Stay Focused on You
By this we mean, stay focused on your own tasks, goals, and aspirations for your career. People perceive confidence from consistent hard work and success. Stay focused on your own success and try to disregard office politics, rumor mills and non-production distractions.
Monitor Your Successes (big and small!)
Use a to-do list to keep track of your daily accomplishments and keep yourself aware of your constant achievements. In addition, try keeping an “achievement” file to keep a record of all your successes. This can store congratulatory notes, milestones reached, kudos from peers or any notes from yourself. Refer to the file when reflecting back each year or quarter on what you achieved.
Bring Your Notes
“Winging it” is not a winning strategy. Even if you think you don’t need them, bring your notes to every meeting, no matter how informal. You won’t be faulted for bringing reference notes to give a presentation, meeting with upper management, or conversation with a colleague. Bringing notes keeps you prepared and shows you are thorough and interested in ensuring all your points are made.
Even if you don’t come out on top, trying things you didn’t think were possible can be a great way to boost confidence. Seek out projects that will help you build a new skill or stretch your standard skillset.
Review Your Reactions to Your Audience
One of the most effective ways to gain confidence is to elevate your emotional radar in the workplace. If you’re assigned a less favorable assignment by your boss, take the focus off your emotion and focus on what you can do for your audience (your boss). Focusing on how you respond to your audience will help let go of any initial internal worry.
Be Direct with Your Words
When contributing to an important discussion or project, try to avoid mumbling, stumbling, or using filler words such as “umm.” Doing so will only lessen your appearance of confidence. When expressing your opinion, try to avoid starting out with the words “sorry” or “I think” and convey your thoughts without caveats surrounding the facts.
Be a Role Model of Positive Attitude
Being positive doesn’t always mean “happy,” but also having a resilient, go-getter attitude. Focus your attitudes on fostering solutions rather than discussing problems. Workers are drawn to people with upbeat attitudes, especially when faced with a challenge. Be the change you want to see within your team. Just by showing up with a good attitude you’ll be seen as someone to look up to within the organization.