I think it’s fair to say that everyone suffers from a lack of self-confidence at various times in their life, and also in their career. Managers, both young and experienced, leaders and even executives doubt themselves at times.
Just because you are in a management position, doesn’t mean you are automatically and always right, or that you are always brimming over with self-confidence. However, for you to manage your employees to best effect, you need to recognise when your confidence is low, and immediately deal with this. Employees will very quickly pick up on your self-confidence by how you interact with them, with others and by how you conduct yourself in stressful and difficult situations.
According to Harvey Deutschendorf, an internationally recognised author, speaker and expert on emotional intelligence, there are five ways leaders and managers demonstrate self-confidence.
- Show a high degree of emotional intelligence.
Confident leaders are able to manage their emotions and don’t let their emotions override their intellect. They never react from a place of anger and frustration, but wait until they are firmly in control and can think through an effective response to a person or a situation. If they are witnessed losing their cool, leaders will quickly lose the confidence of those around them.
- Be open to, and not threatened by, ideas different than their own.
Bill Gates said “It makes no sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so that they can tell us what to do.”
Leaders who are sure of themselves do not feel threatened by those who disagree with them and have different ideas and ways of doing things. Their egos are firmly in check and they understand and accept that more and diverse ideas will result in better decisions. They do not take others disagreeing with them personally or as a repudiation of their self-worth.
- Put the success of their people and organization first.
Self-confident people see themselves first and foremost as servants to the people and the organization that they work for. They view their success not in terms of their own advancement, but rather as a direct result of the success of their colleagues and their organization.
- Treat everyone with respect regardless of position.
Leaders who are self-confident don’t feel the need to go out of their way to impress their superiors and do not feel the need to show their importance to those at the bottom rungs of the organization. They recognize the value and respect the dignity of all people regardless of the role they are performing. Those who have faith in their own ability do not feel the need to put others down to make themselves look good.
- Don’t have the need to advertise the importance of their official title.
Leaders who are sure of themselves tend to be quite low key when it comes to using their official title to let others know their importance. They prefer to let their actions and treatment of those around them speak for themselves. Their preference is to inspire and motivate others to action by their vision and personal example, rather than to use the power inherent in their positions to dominate those in positions under them.
How Self-confident Are You?
On a good day you might say ‘Very’, but on a bad day you might not! The key to mastering your self-confidence in a consistent way is to assess yourself against the five key steps outlined above.
Be honest with yourself and rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1 being poor and 10 being excellent) on all the points raised.
For those areas with a score of 5 or less, work out what you need to do to improve on them. Don’t try to improve them all at the same time, take them individually and practice the new approach consistently over a period of 21 days. It takes 21 days to form a new habit, and you need to give yourself this time to build a sustainable and consistent level of self-confidence.
Did you find this helpful?
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