One of the most important skills in business is the ability to remain confident.
Think about it. When you feel confident you:
• Present well in meetings and presentations.
• Reach out to potential customers and joint venture partners.
• Dare to dream up big ideas then have the fortitude to take action on them.
• Charge more money for your services.
• Lead your staff more effectively.
• Are more persuasive when selling.
• Persist when others give up.
• And generally feel much happier about your business and life.
Yes, when you think about it, confidence is surely an absolutely vital characteristic of any successful business person.
So it logically follows that the more you develop your confidence the better your results will be.
But how exactly do you do that?
Well in the next few minutes I am going to give you some of the confidence building techniques I use when mentoring business people.
They are all simple, but highly effective in building and sustaining a confident persona.
Prepare early, deeply and often
I have found that the better you prepare the more confident you are. After all, when you’ve really done your homework beforehand you know your facts backward. You’ve anticipated any tricky questions you may get. You realise you understand your subject better than anyone else in the room. That knowledge and surety will give you extraordinary poise and confidence. And you are far more likely to say the right things and make the correct choices.
Yet so often we just wing it. We walk into meetings only having a shallow knowledge of the situation. We rely on our intelligence and our experience to get us through. Sometimes it does, but many times it doesn’t.
Taking the time to deeply prepare for any role or task can really transform your confidence. And your results.
Commit to continual skills development
The great error of many highly intelligent people is they stop studying once they get good at something. They figure they know more than the average person in their industry so they don’t have to learn more.
Big mistake. Every industry is constantly evolving, so unless you commit to continual learning you will inevitably start falling behind the industry leaders. But learning needs to go further then just knowledge of your particular industry, it needs to encompass personal skills as well: How to speak well. How to think creatively. How to be more productive. How to minimise stress. How to get on with co-workers. How to lead teams. Etc.
It’s only when you follow a learning program that tackles both industry knowledge and personal skills development that you can truly expect to rise to the top in any field. Continual learning is also crucial for growing your confidence to a high level as well.
When you know you are better trained than everyone around you, you can’t help but exude a quiet confidence. People will sense it. You’ll have a manner about you that is highly attractive – people tend to like experts and those that exhibit excellence in any way. Keep developing your knowledge and skills and you’ll be far more centered and confident than anyone in your industry. It will not be the shallow, empty confidence of a braggart, it will be the deep confidence of a master.
Mentally rehearse being confident daily
There are countless research studies that have shown that we tend to become like the image we have of ourselves. Certainly top sports men and women have shown that daily mental rehearsal positively affects performance. It’s high time the business community started practising the same mental techniques that athletes use.
Here’s a two minute mental exercise you can do daily that will markedly increase your confidence at work:
Each morning before you begin your work day, find a quiet place and get relaxed. Close your eyes for two minutes and mentally see a movie of yourself performing confidently – at your desk, in key meetings, talking with other executives. See and feel yourself as being masterful in every area that matters to you.
Do this every morning for just a week and you’ll see a big rise in your confidence. Keep doing it for the next few months and you’ll become a far more evolved and efficacious person.
There’s a strong correlation between how you feel physically and how confident you feel mentally. When you don’t exercise much your energy is depleted, your mood is lower, your posture is often poorer and your self-respect is weaker. All of these things must surely lead to a lowering of confidence. By simply exercising three or four times a week though, the reverse occurs. Your energy, mood, and self image all quickly rise. And with those changes inevitably there comes a significant increase in your personal dynamism and confidence.
Yet still the majority of executives and entrepreneurs don’t exercise regularly. Why? Not because they don’t have the time, as they all seem to say (if it’s really important we will all find the time). But rather that they cannot see the connection between becoming fit and making more money.
But if we agree that being fit increases confidence and that confidence improves our business results, then it should also be clear that not exercising leads to making less moolah.
So in conclusion, it’s important to remember that confidence doesn’t just happen. It is created.
Furthermore, it can be created very quickly by using these four methods. Deep preparation, commitment to continual learning, mental rehearsal and staying fit are all you need to develop a level of confidence that will not just make you feel good, but will take your success in business to an entirely new and spectacular level.
WORDS Siimon Reynolds
This article was originally written by website The Fortune Institute.