When you hear the word “Confidence,” what comes to mind? Courage, success, cockiness?
Confidence defined is: “Self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities.”
Confidence is an inner belief in oneself based on one’s experience that is learned from good and bad decisions. It’s not about being perfect, or failing to see your own weaknesses. Rather, it is an inner assurance based on one’s abilities and capabilities. If every member of a team worked from a place of confidence, then we’d see better and stronger decisions be made
What does a confident person look like? Here are seven things you’ll hear confident people say:
- “What’s the worse that could happen?” At first that may sound negative, but it sends the message that to worry will not accomplish the intended goal. By getting rid of the “worse,” one can move toward the “best” way of getting something done.
- “Let’s move forward.” Another way of saying this is “go for it.” This outward and forward thinking keeps one moving in a determined direction instead of worrying and being anxious about the “what ifs” if it doesn’t work out. Moving forward with intentionality is much more realistic than just positive thinking.
- “This works for me.” Part of being confident is the ability to take risks. Putting one’s self and one’s beliefs “out there” sends the message I believe in this and I think it will work. This also allows others to speak their thoughts and beliefs and a much better game plan can be achieved.
- “I’ll do it.” Stepping forward follows close behind. Confident people will lead the pack in moving forward. This statement says again “I’m willing to take the necessary risks to make this important because I see this as important to the direction I am moving, or the direction I see this company needs to be pursuing.”
- “Here are my thoughts.” Voicing one’s opinion is a confident expression. It conveys belief, a sense of right and wrong, and yet once again–risk. In building successful teams, hearing each other’s strong beliefs can definitely introduce some conflict, but everyone is working out of their strengths not fearing “hurting someone’s feelings.” You are only expressing your thoughts. Doesn’t mean that everyone will agree with you. Psychological safety is a requirement within teams to achieve this level of discourse.
- “Tell me more.” This is probably the best communication line ever scripted. It communicates I hear you, I validate you, I want to know more. Again it does not mean I agree, but I am trying to understand where others are coming from. This statement encourages others to speak with confidence and self-assurance.
- “I need your help.” This is a tough one for a lot of people, especially leaders. But by asking for help, it does not mean you are wrong, weak, or shallow. Instead, it conveys, “I need you as part of the team.” Another way of asking this is, “How do you see yourself helping with this project.” It helps others see that you are not afraid to admit your weaknesses or acknowledge deficiencies.
Confidence is one significant hallmark of high performers that move a team forward. Start working on your own confidence as a way to grow in leadership. Start by practicing the phrases discussed. Keep working toward getting more assured, gaining new and valuable skills, performing your job well, and encouraging others to join in the effort.