Blog Articles By Topic
Do you use your time strategically? Being busy and being efficient are not the same, and the most successful people know how to use their time to their greatest advantage. In an article on her website, expert Ellie Nieves uncovers the common practices successful people use to maximize output and perform at their best: Successful […]
Trust is intangible, but it does not have to be a puzzle, a guessing game, or an accident. Just as you can learn to be a more charismatic leader, meaning you are more likable by those you manage, you can learn to develop trust. Charisma can be immediate when you smile and look people directly […]
Have you ever found yourself suddenly motivated or inspired by someone else and thought, “how did they do that?” You’ve probably conjured a person in your mind whom you consider as having a strong influence. What sets them apart? You may be thinking of charisma or charm, or possibly assertiveness. But influence isn’t about personality. […]
Let’s Do an Experiment Go into any search engine and type in “business negotiation” – you’ll learn a lot about negotiating contracts, getting the best deal for your company, and finding win-win solutions. Now try “business negotiation for women.” It’s all about salary. You’ll find maybe one or two pieces about how to do your […]
As many of you know, I like words, their meanings, and their use. And for those of you hearing me for the first time, I believe that words matter, so when I began the process of formulating my thoughts on the “inspiration,” I went to the dictionary. That is what I do. The definition that […]
It’s officially Customer Service week! No one is an island. All year your team has been working tirelessly to serve and support your customers and clients. This week is the perfect opportunity to give back to your hard working team by letting them know how much their efforts are appreciated. Re-engage and re-energize! Myra Golden […]
Stress will happen. It’s a very natural response when you’re juggling work, family, social life, and everything else you have on your plate. The key is to make sure it isn’t getting the best of you. Make sure you’re taking the time to work actively on managing stress when it’s really building up. 3 fun […]
Burnout is an epidemic affecting the modern workplace today. All of us experience stress at work at one time or another, but burnout is a different beast. While the two can feel very similar, it is crucial to your well-being that you’re able to recognize when you are crossing that line. Equally, if not even […]
No matter where you are in your career, you’re aware of the challenges many women face as they try to advance their career into senior management. That’s why this initiative, which asks companies to sign a pledge to fast-track women’s progress up the corporate ladder, is a step in the right direction. Started by Frustrated […]
Want a way to close the pay gap in your own company? Pay transparency is one way. Yes, it can certainly pit employees against each other, but it could also be the answer to closing the pay gap between men and women. Citigroup, the fourth largest bank, just revealed that women earn 29% less than […]
Confidence – it’s a topic that is on everyone’s mind. Why is it that some people seem to exude confidence while others shrink under pressure? Is it inherent, or can it be learned and practiced? And how can we access this sometimes-illusive trait when we need it the most?
We’ve all caught ourselves in moments of self-doubt, asking these questions. And you may have even attempted to find the answers. That’s exactly what inspired authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman to begin their journey of research and discovery that brought “The Confidence Code” to life.
Their focus is mainly on confidence in women. Especially in the workplace, there is a distinct “gap” in confidence between men and women – and there is plenty of presented research to back up this claim. Men boast, speak up, and value themselves in the workplace more than women typically. Despite there being virtually no gap in competency, women consistently undervalue and doubt themselves. Katty and Claire wondered, “why?”
Throughout the book, the authors journey through the many levels of what makes up confidence. They present research and case studies on genetics, nurture, biology, and society. They interview some of the most confident women they can encounter and even examine themselves and their own experiences. All to get to the bottom of the “confidence gap” and ultimately develop a strategy for overcoming it.
The book is a fantastic resource for an in-depth analysis of what makes and breaks confidence in all of us, how anyone can tap into confidence with some courage and practice, and how women specifically can learn to become authentically confident despite competing in a male-centric society. “The Confidence Code” is packed to the brim with recent research, case studies, and anecdotes about confidence that may surprise you. It has all the makings of an academic study while maintaining its humor and authenticity for an easy read. “The Confidence Code” is a great read for anyone – whether you consider yourself to be a confident person, or you’re looking to improve, this book has plenty to keep you interested from beginning to end.
I was so confident. I looked great in my tennis dress, and I knew I was going to hit the next high overhead lob that came to me. I got my chance. The ball came toward me at a speed I thought I could handle. I kept my eye on the ball. As it neared, I timed my jump. I jumped as high as I could, but the ball sailed over my head.
I was standing at the baseline and for you who don’t know tennis, if you are standing at the baseline and the ball is sailing over your head, it is going out and you win the point. As the ball sailed out, my entire team stood up and clapped. Much to my bewilderment and embarrassment, because I missed the ball, we won the point and won the entire match.
I had confidence but not the capability. They go hand in hand and as you build your confidence and capability, you progress toward greater potential.
Confidence means you feel sure of yourself and your abilities. Some people fear showing their confidence because they have been taught not to brag or boast about their accomplishments as others will see them as arrogant. On the contrary, true confidence is a quiet, inner knowledge that you are competent and have the ability to perform. There is no need to feel superior to others.
This inner confidence makes you try new things and sign up for growth opportunities in your organization, community, or favorite association. As motivational speaker Les Brown says this belief in your capabilities helps you pick yourself up when life knocks you down. The full quote is “When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. If you can look up, you can get up.”
As you look up at a better life and get up and start taking action, your confidence grows. Confident people feel ready for everyday work challenges as they rely on their skills and strengths to handle the dilemmas, conflicts, and decisions that are part of work-life.
Part of confidence is self-talk. In my tennis example, I thought “I can,” not “I’ll miss it again.” Even though mere positive thinking did not work out for me then, I learned a valuable lesson: If you are standing at the baseline and a ball is over your head, let it go out.
The Gallup organization in their book, “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, makes the case that confidence comes when you discover your natural talent, or what you are good at, and develop that natural talent through study, learning and taking action.
As you gain knowledge and use the knowledge in your activities, you develop more capacity and advance faster to your potential. I would add that when taking action, you may have a learning opportunity like in my tennis match which could be mistaken for a failure. It was not a failure. It was advancing my capacity to perform and helped me move toward developing my tennis-playing potential. That is the funny thing about “failure.” You learn and grow.
In the process of increasing your confidence and capability, it is of the utmost importance to control your self-talk. I was telling myself that I could hit that high overhead lob. However, in my first tennis lesson, the instructor showed us how to hit a ball sent to the forehand. I tried and as the ball scooted way off the court, in a serious way intended to be self-deprecating humor, I said, “Oh, I can’t do that.” Next, he showed us how to hit a ball sent to the backhand. Once again, I said, “Oh, I can’t do that.” Then he showed us how to serve and I thought, two-hand coordination? And yes, I said, “Oh, I can’t do that.”
The instructor stopped the entire class, looked straight at me, and said, “Karla, do you realize that to everything I have shown you today you have said, “I can’t?”
To experience increased capacity, competence, and confidence I now avoid negative self-talk because it can become a self-fulling prophecy. True confidence comes from belief in your capacity and competency from the top of your head down to your tippy toes. The best way to get that belief is through the Gallup process: learn and practice – endlessly repeated.
Another way to boost your confidence is to listen intently when someone compliments you. Tuck the compliment into your long-range memory. Make it part of the victory film you play when you start to doubt your self-worth, feel inferior, or unworthy.
As your competence and capacity increase and your potential blossoms, let your body language display self-confidence. Stand up straight, walk with purpose, look people directly in the eye, smile, and speak with conviction. Never give a wimpy handshake.
Follow these tips and you will hit that high overhead lob when it comes your way.
Check out our review of Karla’s book, “Wake Up the Winner Inside.”
About the Expert
Karla Brandau is the CEO, Brandau Power Institute, and a 25-year veteran of the speaking and training industry. Her book, “How to Earn the Gift of Discretionary Effort,” positions her as a thought leader and expert in re-calibrating leadership for the 21st century. Her presentations help managers become the leader people CHOOSE to follow not HAVE to follow because of their place on the organization chart.
She has spoken for Coca-Cola Enterprises, Panasonic, BYD America, National Facilities Management and Technology Conference, US Poultry and Egg Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Kitchen and Bath Association.
Certifications include Certified Speaking Professional, Certified Facilitator, Registered Corporate Coach, Certified Professional Behaviors Analyst, Certified Professional Motivators Analyst, and EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence Facilitator.