Do you need to interact with your followers on regular basis but find that developing leadership confidence doesn’t come easy for you?
I am about to show you a technique for increasing your confidence levels and coming across as a more self-assured and decisive leader.
Here is how it works
One of the key skills necessary for strong leadership is confidence. Those who display it not only inspire their followers but instantly set themselves apart as people we want to follow.
Being confident is seen as a desired quality in a leader and it helps those in charge successfully engage with their followers and get better results. Yet leadership responsibilities like giving presentations, organizing planning sessions, setting a vision, enforcing rules, or conducting one-on-one talks with difficult employees add extra pressure onto the shoulders of those in charge.
In such instances, a leader is expected to come across as confident and in charge and if they don’t, they end up feeling weak and frustrated, and can be easily dismissed by their subordinates. Many of us have experienced that at some point.
“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.” – Samuel Johnson
Confidence can be a tricky issue, because it can be affected by our emotional states. When we lack self-assurance in front of our followers or come across indecisive, our minds play tricks on us by injecting doubt and anxiety into our brains.
We start second guessing our courage and our decisions. We encounter self-doubt and become unsure of ourselves even more. At this point, pulling ourselves out from this downward spiral becomes tricky. We are well aware that we need to overcome this problem and learn to be more self-assured, but we don’t know how.
So, here is one way to do it
One of the techniques that helps build and maintain confidence is mental rehearsals. It is used by public speakers, athletes, leaders and even stage actors to great effect.
When faced with a situation which causes you anxiety or fear (such as a difficult meeting, a company presentation, or bad performance review), take some time beforehand to go over it and rehearse it in your mind. Put yourself in that situation mentally and concentrate on the details.
How will you sit? What will you say? What will you look like? Imagine yourself relaxed but in-charge, with shoulders back and head high. Picture yourself maintaining eye contact with those in front of you, speaking slowly and deliberately, taking pauses every now and then to allow the meaning of your words to sink in.
Be positive, while doing such a rehearsal. This is your reality and you are setting it in motion. Prepare what you will say and even go over some of the questions that you think you may encounter, getting the answers ready. Feel yourself in control of the situation and be as relaxed as you can.
When the actual situation finally arrives, take a second or two to recall the rehearsal you did earlier and go for it! No matter what happens now, you will be better prepared and you will feel more confident. After all, you already rehearsed the scenario and you know what you are going for!
So, here is what I want you to do right now.
3 ACTION STEPS for developing leadership confidence
- STEP 1: Look at your schedule for tomorrow and pick one event where you know you could benefit from displaying more confidence. It could be an official meeting with your team to present a plan, a public speaking engagement, a presentation, a performance review, or any situation which gives you anxiety.
- STEP 2: Before you go to bed, take a few minutes to rehearse that event in your mind. Do it in a place where you can be free of distractions. Picture how you will act, what you will say and how you will look. Picture yourself relaxed, confident and in charge.
- STEP 3: Tomorrow, when the moment arrives, go in confidently and without hesitation. Remember, you already rehearsed it and can follow your “script” as much as the situation allows.
If you commit yourself to doing such mental rehearsals every time you need a confidence boost, you will consistently perform better when you really need it. And because practice makes perfect, in short time your overall confidence will rise. Your team will notice it and react to it accordingly. Pay attention to how their reactions to you change when you do this right and to the effect you have on them as a leader.
Now, you may say “yes, but what if I encounter something I was unprepared for?“, or “I don’t know what exactly I should look and sound like, when I imagine myself being confident and in charge.“
If this is the case, then what I’d like you to do is to go and read this right now.
Start using mental rehearsals in your daily routine and you’ll be well on your way to developing leadership confidence when you need it most!