Leadership is an attribute or skill that cannot be developed by everyone, but it is undeniable that leaders exhibit some perceptible traits. One essential leadership trait is confidence. Can you actually think of a leader who falls short on this aspect? If you want to become a leader, in career or overall, developing confidence is prerequisite. However, it is not like popping in a pill and gaining physical strength. It is something you may not be born with but can develop it with effort, by studying other leaders and nurturing specific qualities. Confidence is not necessarily synonymous with aggression, and pushy attitude. It is more about having an aura of calm reassurance and the efficacy to lead life and manage things without being stressed or worried.
For a leader facing diverse and challenging situations, confidence becomes like an emotion. It needs to be deployed in various situations to keep things in shape and improve things too. Below listed are the steps using which you can develop confidence and smoothen your way to become a leader:
1. Planning ahead, leaving room for changes
When you are in a position in a company where your responsibilities are increasing, that can be the time to exhibit your leadership skills. However, it is certainly not easy. Whether you get a promotion or your startup grows with time, the tasks and responsibilities keep growing too. Ensure you manage all such responsibilities like a true leader with confidence, make it a habit to plan ahead. It could be an office party or bi annual evaluation of your department but planning ahead helps you minimize chances of errors in execution. When you handle organizational events and manage things efficiently that speaks for your leadership potential. Success in organizing such events also gives a boost to your confidence level.
2. Listen carefully and then speak
Great leaders make it a point to listen to others before they come up with their answers or views on any situation or thing, as it is. Listening to people around you, be it in the organization or anywhere else, helps you create and connect to them. You can understand their views and roots of debates in cases. So, you are in a better position to come up with suitable answers. You need not be only listening all the time, but the trick lies in engaging in active listening. Confident leaders may not speak a lot, but when they speak, people listen to them. This is because they know the most apt things in specific situations.
3. Looks does matter
You need not be dressed in formal at all times, but it is important to pay attention to your appearance as far as looking like a confident leader is concerned. While it is the inner strength that ultimately helps in oozing confidence, people do evaluate you on your looks to an extent. Wearing a worn out tee and faded denim may be fine when you have a hangout with college buddies, but it is strictly not okay when you are in a commanding designation and deal with many subordinates.
4. Staying fit
While this may sound like a not so important part of leadership, fitness actually helps you look confident and in control of things around you. If you observe the management level people in a big company, their body language oozes an aura of authority and supreme confidence. Without staying fit, this remains a distant dream. When you exercise and stay fit, your body language reflects it. This as an impact on people around you as well.
Confident leaders need not make grim faces at all times, unless when it is absolutely necessary! Smiling does not cost anything, but it does help in making you look less stressed and that affects others too. It helps ease tough situations to an extent and let people feel a bit relaxed. That does not mean you should always be smiling or smiling without reasons, but a hint of smile also denotes positive vibes.
6. Acknowledge success and the opposite too
Great leaders are quick to acknowledge achievements of others in team or organizations. They are also straightforward enough to acknowledge their deficits. As a leader, you should understand that success comes with team efforts and so remember people deserving praise should be given their due. Similarly, as a leader you should not try to detach yourself from team failure.
7. Taking a break in a while
Yes, there is no denying the biggest leaders also need a break from their work and routine. You need to de stress from time to time to rejuvenate your mind and your confidence level as well. So, find time to take a vacation or go to a weekend destination sometimes. Spending time in a natural serene location lets your mind become calm and you can introspect things better. Then you can resume work with a fresh mind and better capacity to deal with tasks.
8. Remembering and analysing achievements
Ups and downs are a part of anyone’s life and leaders are no exceptions. Even a confident leader may sometimes feel bogged down by stress or hurdles in way at times. At such times, recounting the past achievements and accolades do help. When you recount the achievements you got in your career and life, the feelings of negativity get reduced. It helps in battling the woes that may hold you back from reaching your potential at times.