Do You Need a Boost of Confidence?
In our last article, we took a deeper dive into setting proper expectations as a leader, to ensure you are laying the foundation of success for both yourself and your people. This week, we decided to shift gears and talk about why having confidence is an important factor in effective and impactful leadership.
A leader’s ability to communicate, inspire, act decisively, and pursue the organization’s vision is made possible with a healthy sense of confidence. It’s also crucial to understand that arrogance is no substitute for confidence. Arrogance is almost always a disguise that’s used to mask a distinct lack of confidence. It erodes trust, poisons communication, and can alienate people. Arrogance is a performance that gives a false impression of confidence, while real confidence is a genuine expression of one’s authentic self.
So, how can you develop your confidence as a leader and boost your level of effectiveness without coming across as arrogant or boastful?
I’ve compiled some insights and advice that can help you boost your confidence and assist in developing your overall leadership capability.
#1 — Learn to Trust Your Intuition
Your internal compass is one of the more valuable tools you have at your disposal. Whether you call it your intuition, instinct, or a gut feeling, it is powerful and usually does not mislead or guide you. I often ask leaders I work with about how they’ve been impacted when they did not listen to their gut. The feedback is astoundingly consistent – things faltered when they decided not to listen to their gut intuition and instincts.
Today’s leaders are constantly dealing with adjusting their workforces as the lingering effects of the pandemic continue. On a practical level, they still have to meet the requirements of their position by striving to meet KPIs, analyzing the team’s productivity and impact, yet, in the face of that, they are still dealing with people, and their emotions and stress levels, which can affect a leader’s own sense of equilibrium. The good news is that your intuition is always doing its own analyzing of sensory data in the background. It synthesizes all the input and helps you formulate the best possible decisions.
When you trust your gut and use it to make decisions, you perform at your best, and you grow your confidence considerably.
Here are some of the ways you can hone your ability to trust your gut:
- Clear your mind through meditation and mindfulness; notice the thoughts and emotions that crop up and use this practice to separate your internal truth from the noise.
- Pay attention to your feelings. Work on your ability to tap into the emotions as feelings that exist within your body. Understand how anger and other strong emotions make you feel. Learn how to tell when your intuition is being influenced by emotion, and you’ll be better able to trust your instincts.
- Focus internally; separate the voices and perspectives of others from your true “North Star,” which is your own internal voice. It’s here that you’ll find your gut instinct in its purest, most helpful form.
#2 — Spend Time with Other Leaders
Leaders can fall into the trap of isolation quite easily in our remote and hybrid working world. When leaders are isolated, they may start comparing themselves to other leaders unfairly, which causes them to lose confidence.
By networking with other leaders and spending time with your peers, you are much more likely to feel strong and confident in your abilities. You will be able to share your successes and struggles with others who can relate to you as they have walked in your shoes.
#3 — Help Those Around You Succeed
If you only measure success in terms of your own accomplishments and track record, you’ll probably end up judging yourself ever more harshly, which may deplete your confidence. Leadership is not about you. It's about how you serve others. Use your leadership power to help others succeed. This can help you feel confident about your impact and abilities when others shine brightly around you.
#4 — Be Aware of Your Thinking & Body Language
You’ve heard the phrase, “fake it ‘til you make it,” right? Well, there’s some sound psychology behind that advice. When you feel a lack of confidence, your body language and communication may suffer. But you can reverse engineer a feeling of confidence by taking confident actions.When you exude genuine confidence to those around you, they will follow your lead. Here are some quick tips that can help:
- Start the day with positive thoughts such as practicing gratitude or positive affirmations to set the tone and shift your mindset.
- Make eye contact with people when communicating, particularly in video meetings. This shows you care and are dialed into the conversation.
- Keep your head up and be aware of your body language as it generates positive energy which exudes confidence.
- Practice self-care by ensuring you exercise and get plenty of rest so you have the energy and focus to give to others.
Build Confidence Every Day
The topic of confidence is rarely addressed in leadership development frameworks, even though it is probably the number one quality that separates great leaders from average ones.
I’ve only scratched the surface here with my confidence-boosting tips, so I’m curious about what you think. Have you tried some of the exercises and techniques I’ve outlined above? Have you developed your own methods for boosting confidence? What has or hasn’t worked?
I’m curious to know what you think, so please reach out and keep the confidence conversation going.
Feel free to reach out to me at 416-560-1806 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk!