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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

3 Ways to Hack Professional Confidence

Self-confidence is often seen as the realm of extroverts and party animals, but it’s a really important part of getting a next-level position in the workplace. Self-confidence builds your executive presence and projects assurance and competence into everything you do. Even if you’re not a naturally self-confident person, you can still act in ways that suggest self-confidence at work. If you want to build your professional self-confidence, try starting with these three steps.

Look people in the eye

If you don’t maintain eye contact, that’s a sign of low self-esteem. When you’re talking to someone, making eye contact is the way that we convey interest and attentiveness. Sustained eye contact says, “Hey, I know what I’m talking about, and I’m comfortable in this conversation.” Don’t look at your hands or phone.

Speak up

Hesitations, fumbling, and mumbling conveys a lack of self-assurance. Americans especially value direct, clear spoken language. Think about the great politicians and orators of the past two decades: John Kennedy and Martin Luther King come to mind. They were clear, direct speakers who didn’t hesitate or mumble. They took up space in the room and it gave their meaning more power. Don’t be overly soft-spoken or hesitant, and try and clear filler words from your speech.

Play big

If you’re on a team, you’re there for a reason. You have skills and value to add, but if you don’t speak it, you’re playing it safe. Think about times when you’ve had an idea in a meeting that you knew would add value to the conversation, but you kept it to yourself because you were afraid to take a pivotal role in the conversation. That’s playing small. Even if you’re unsure of an idea, throwing it into the ringer announces to everyone that you have something to contribute and you’re not afraid to take a little risk.

All three of these components support you in building self-esteem. Making eye contact, speaking up, and showing up strongly are all indications that you believe in yourself and that you have a strong executive presence. These small actions build something much more important: your reputation as someone who is ready for a next-level opportunity.

The foundation to building self-confidence is putting the work in. We have to believe in and recognize our own self-worth in order to convince anyone else of it, so dive deep. Look in the mirror. Name your skills out loud and tell yourself that you are worthy of the seat at the table that you’ve been working so hard for.

Need some help? Let’s connect! Click here to put a one-on-one with me on your calendar for a personal consultation.

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