Why does confidence matter so much in business?
Confidence is both an internal game and something that is perceived outwardly to influence people and situations, hopefully towards win-win outcomes. Overinflated ego and bravado are not confidence: that is, you can have the outward appearance of confidence and lack any real self-approval, certainty or belief in yourself – and people will see through this quite quickly. On the other hand, you can feel grounded in a clear, quiet confidence – and people will respond to that by placing their confidence in you.
‘Professional’ confidence refers to the confidence we feel in our ability to be effective in our work. This naturally comes with experience and positive feedback from others, and in the times we see our work helping someone in a meaningful way. Yet, much of our daily work may not have that instant feedback loop, and challenges crop up that can knock our confidence (global pandemic, anyone?).
When it comes to business, displaying confidence is a must if others are to place their trust in you… and business doesn’t happen without trust. Professional confidence in not only displayed by our track record, but communicated all day every day – in the ways we talk about our work, engage with others, and in the language choices we make (including body language and online language!).
Not only does your own confident communication allow others to place their trust in you, but consistent confident communication from all your team members in their own domains – be it internally with each other or externally with stakeholders and audiences – will create and magnify trust in the broader team and organisation. By developing your team’s professional confidence, you are developing a ‘team brand’ of trust.
“By developing your team’s professional confidence, you are developing a ‘team brand’ of trust.”
Developing the professional confidence of your team should start early in their careers and continue all the way through. You should address:
- Knowing our strengths & their value to others
- Being able to articulate this value
- Leading from this space… ‘owning it’
When you teach your team members to understand and articulate their contributions and strengths in terms of value to others, you will grow a team of highly influential people.
See below for practical steps to build your team’s professional confidence…