When teammates aren’t feeling confident, communication and productivity across your business may suffer! A lack of confidence means that ideas are going unsaid—and such silence halts progress. Luckily, confidence can be learned and practiced with intention. Read on to discover how to be more confident at work.
Why Is Learning How To Be More Confident At Work So Important?
Sometimes, a lack of confidence comes from the inability to understand how others are feeling in your presence. Internal questions, such as “Is my boss happy with my performance?” can completely derail your focus, causing you to spend time seeking answers to questions that really don’t exist.
If you want to learn how to be more confident at work, you first need to develop emotional intelligence:
- The ability to read the room or a person
- Awareness of others (specifically their reactions in different situations)
- The ability to manage your emotions at work
- The ability to help others in a stressful situation (calming them down or cheering them up)
Emotional intelligence is the “silent skill” that everyone forgets to mention or emphasize as a professional skill. Really, emotionally intelligent people are more confident and typically enjoy greater professional success!
On the other hand, people who are brash, argumentative, or self-righteous may feel confident or powerful in a stressful situation when they’re actually channeling their emotions in a hurtful, less productive way.
Nobody’s perfect, but recurring issues regulating your feelings and reactions in a professional environment are signs you need more practice with emotional processing.
Why Is Emotional Intelligence So Important In Learning How To Be More Confident At Work?
Emotional intelligence is a critical skill that is seriously underrated when learning how to be more confident at work.
Research shows that when you have the skills to read and react to the people around you, you are rewarded with greater trust, opportunity, and confidence.
How To Be More Confident At Work By Developing Your Emotional Intelligence
Of course, emotional intelligence doesn’t just develop overnight. If you want to learn how to be more confident at work, you need to practice a few key skills over and over again.
Practice Confident Body Language
The way you carry yourself can transform your level of confidence at work. Think about your posture, eye contact, and even the way you walk. It all seems fairly minor…until you piece it all together for a huge boost in confidence!
Others will often notice your posture transformations the second you enter a room. Sometimes, a positive response to the new way you carry yourself can steer your day in the right direction and help you feel even more confident.
Practice walking with your chin up, shoulders down and back, and eyes forward! Make eye contact with people as you walk past them, even if it feels awkward at first. And of course, hold eye contact when speaking with people, as well.
Develop A Confident Mindset—Know Your Strengths!
Feeling confident from the inside is important. Check in with yourself as you would with a friend or loved one. Ask yourself, “How are you feeling?” in moments of stress or overwhelm.
Are the stories you tell yourself (and the words you use to tell them) positive or negative? Positivity creates confidence! A simple shift in tone can make all the difference in the world.
For example, if you’re telling yourself stories about how you’re not good enough, you need to shift your mindset. We’re all unique, and you have special gifts to share with the world. It helps to pause and think about all the skills you have that make you a valuable asset to your team. Once you acknowledge the wonderful parts of yourself, others will notice them, too.
Let’s imagine you walk into work and are immediately faced with a tremendous workload—impossible clients, outrageous projects… the works! Maintaining positive thoughts in a moment like that is essential.
If you want to know how to be more confident at work, be mindful of your facial expressions and tone of voice. Forcing a smile onto your face before you feel happy will actually coax happiness in! The same goes for positive tone and language—stay calm with your words and reactions to big moments and you will feel more in control.
Journaling is a wonderful tool to help with positivity training. If you spend time each day writing down the things that went well at work and things you liked about your performance, those positive ideas will come to you more naturally in time.
Use Confident Language
The best way to speak and write more confidently is to set concrete rules for yourself. Forbid yourself to use words or phrases at work that suggest inferiority or uncertainty.
Eliminate phrases such as:
- I just wanted to…
- I am not an expert but…
- I don’t know if this makes sense…
- Phrases that include “like” every other word!
To sound more professional, polished, and confident, remove words and phrases that weaken your image. It helps to record your voice and listen to it at home. Rehearsal gives you a better sense of your personal language habits.
Are you lilting? Lilting is when you “upspeak” at the end of sentences (using a higher intonation) which can make it sound like you’re asking a question rather than giving a statement. It can sound as though you’re seeking validation when you upspeak, so be sure to rule it out in your confidence journey.
Always Follow Through On Your Promises
Integrity is an integral part of confidence. So if you want to understand how to be more confident, you can start by following through on your word.
It’s simple: If you promise to take on a project or follow up on a task, do it! Dependable behavior shows you’re confident. On the other hand, only sounding competent and reliable, then forgetting or simply not following through, makes it hard for others to trust you.
And let’s be honest, the most important person to follow through with is yourself. Hold yourself to a high standard so everyone on your team (including you) feels like you’re someone they can go to in a pinch.
Sometimes, a lack of confidence comes from never knowing exactly what’s happening on any given day. Spending a few minutes the night before work (or a few minutes that morning if you prefer) to go over your schedule for the day can mean the difference between going in confident or not.
Set reminders on your phone calendar so you know when a certain meeting or project requires even more than a few minutes of prep. That way, even if you fail (as we all do from time to time) it won’t be because you weren’t prepared.
In fact, preparation might be the number one tool for how to be more confident at work. Even if studying was never your strong suit, give it a shot to see how it transforms your energy on the job.
Discovering how to be more confident at work is the first step to completely revolutionizing your performance. If confidence doesn’t come naturally to you, fake it ‘til you make it! You’re sure to feel a difference in no time.
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