Recently, a colleague’s feedback for a female client included the advice: “Trust yourself.” Another female client stated she wanted to work on her confidence at work.
Women at work often exhibit less confidence than men, but men can struggle with this issue too. Even when we think we do trust and believe in ourselves, we can sometimes give off the impression that we don’t by our choice of words and demeanor. Competence, knowledge, interpersonal skills and education may be higher or equal to colleagues, but that apparent lack of self-confidence results in fewer promotions, less influence and stifled success.
Confidence is the second most important attribute that managers look for in a potential employee.
One of the characteristics of a good leader is having a presence that conveys authority and a comfort in your own skin. Don’t second-guess yourself. Don’t apologize for your ideas. Don’t waver in your convictions. Get rid of the guilt! Self-confidence is not the same thing as arrogance, cockiness, or being ego-driven. Self-confidence is about owning your talents and accomplishments and developing your own potential.
It begins with knowing yourself well. And that is the foundation of an excellent leader.
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi talks about her "extraordinary" guilt which she consciously confronted and diminished a year before she became CEO.