Ever lose your confidence? The world is never stable. Physics teaches that everything moves toward maximum entropy (disorder or randomness). That means, there is always something churning and arising that can upset the current balance. When you finally come to the realization that things are “off”, the so-called chaos could have been in the works for a while before you noticed it. Thus, when you finally notice the disorder, randomness, or chaos, it can knock you off your game. The trick is to maintain your composure and your confidence to make the necessary adjustments and recalibrate.
How can you feel and telegraph the steady confidence your employees need, so they don’t get spooked like a herd of wild bison?
Here are 5 tips on how to create and maintain a confident demeanor that quells uncertainty in yourself and more importantly in your employee ranks:
1. Cultivate a supportive mindset and confident bearing. You are where you need to be. Don’t psych yourself out. It’s easy to let your inner critic berate you. Turn the inner critic on its head by looking for how it’s trying to serve you. Like a nagging parent who wants you to succeed, what is the good intention of the inner critic and its negative criticisms?
Additionally, you can boost your confidence by following the power posing research of Amy Cuddy, which indicated that 2 minutes of adopting a “superhero” pose led to a 20% increase in subjects feeling more powerful/confident.
2. Do rely on others to bolster confidence. As a successful person, you might tend to think you have to put the whole company on your shoulders and carry it forward. Nothing could be further from the truth. You have a host of people who can cut through the chaos with you. You may not know everything but you can rely on others around you to shore up your weaknesses. Upgrade your network if necessary, too.
3. Toggle between forest (big picture) and the trees (details). When an obstacle or problem arises, recognize it but then pan out and re-focus on the big picture, to gain perspective on where that obstacle fits within the grand scheme of things and to gain flexibility of response. With perspective comes confidence.
4. Spend 20% of your time on work directly affecting your big picture goals.Remember the Pareto Principle: 20% of your efforts will lead to 80% of your results. Calendar the high-value activities that have a direct line of sight to your company goals. Then, execute those high-value activities in baby steps each day to move your goals forward. In other words, don’t try to eat the elephant all at once.
5. Take risks by following the data AND your gut feeling. You build confidence by being true to yourself in light of the data and seeing it pay off. This happens most noticeably when you weigh the pertinent information and take action based on your own sense of things. Then, go for it. Don’t worry — failure can build your confidence when you learn from your experience and use that learning to try again.
Confidence is an important leadership attribute and is critical during times of uncertainty. It’s your role to project the confidence necessary to create a sense of “all is well” in your employees. It does need to be tempered with humility. In other words, there is a difference between confidence and cockiness. But having the wisdom of other smart people, good data, a “can-do” attitude, and the discipline to focus on high-value daily work is how you exude and continue to build your own confidence and the confidence of your staff.
Beth Strathman shows leaders how to turn business goals into tangible results WITH their employees, not in spite of them.