How to Be a Confident Leader

Businesswoman by a window

I used to think that confidence is a god given gift. I was jealous of people who were so smooth in everything like talking to other people, giving out presentations, even walking in public. But as I grew older and wiser (hopefully) I’ve discovered that all people are the same. Everyone has their own insecurities and their certain level of self-esteem. Once I knew that I wasn’t alone, I felt this sense of belongingness to my friends and my family. A piece of comfort that made me contented with the way I am.

The absence of confidence can be remedied by supplementing an area that we feel we are lacking. For example, if we are not confident because we aren’t attractive, we can then workout or go to a barber, or a dermatologist, or a plastic surgeon. If we are not confident because we think we are dumb, then we can go read a book. If our problem is psychological then we can go to a psychiatrist. Having a lack of confidence is a problem, but it can easily be fixed. If you want to know how to be a confident leader, you must acknowledge that it is a problem that can be solved.

Now, being confident with friends and family is easier compared to being confident to work people, employees, bosses, and other strangers. But they are basically the same and can be resolved with the suggestions that I’ve written above. The truth is, confidence is an emotion, one that we can completely control. You can then be confident by taking out the emotion in business and just be analytical. Think of a business like a martial arts studio as numbers, graphs, and data. Think of yourself as a computer that processes all of these and is ultimately required to interpret said data. Although it may seem cold, thinking of business as just business will remove the emotion out of the equation and will leave no room for nerves.

Another source of confidence is being prepared. You can accomplish this by knowing everything about your business and having plans, and back-up plans for your projects. But leave some room for unexpected eventualities that may occur. Being prepared means being prepared for anything, even things that we can’t foresee.

Most people who don’t feel too confident also have problems with talking. Personally, I have a problem with talking to people 1 on 1. With groups, it’s easier to have a conversation because the pressure is split amongst a number of people. For 1 on 1, it’s harder and even awkward because you have this feeling to carry the conversation by yourself. When I’m talking to just one person, what I do is ask open-ended questions. These are questions that can have long and multiple answers compared to close-ended questions that can be answered with a Yes, No, or a Maybe. An example of a close ended question is “Are you done with your report?” Where an open-ended question can go like “How did your report go?” After asking open-ended questions, you can then listen for things that can continue the conversation further. You can also follow up with questions like How and Why that can make the other person elaborate more. Asking questions and actively listening are good techniques that can make you connect to other people. If this is your problem, I hope this has helped you immensely.

To end, my last advice is to always smile. It can be cliché or be stupid to some but smiling is a sure sign of confidence, a signal to you and to others that can do everything and anything.

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