"How can I feel confident when I am speaking?" asked a participant in a recent workshop I conducted. While the question was specific to public speaking, the answer I gave is relevant to any leader, whether she is on stage giving a presentation or working with her team on an important project. The answer lies within you.
When it comes to leadership in the workplace, the primal spring of self confidence is an understanding of what you have accomplished and what you feel you can do next. This is not happy talk. Consider what has enabled you to achieve what you have achieved to date. When it comes to finding sources of accomplishment, you want to focus on the positives, your moments of triumph — those opportunities where you shone, helping yourself and your team achieve a goal.
Isolating your moments of strength is not the same as writing your curriculum vitae; graduating from college and landing a good job are highlights, of course, but when it comes to self-confidence you want to dig beneath the surface. Here are three related questions you can ask yourself to help you uncover your triumphant self:
What do you do well? This question opens the door for you to itemize the abilities that have enabled you to succeed to date. Focus on your talents: what you do well. For example, you may possess strong conceptual skills. You may be one who can think strategically, a person who can look at the big picture and see opportunities where others see only blue sky. Such abilities are your strengths; you owe it to yourself to recognize them.
It's a leader's job to set direction and determine outcomes; that only happens when leaders feel confident in themselves.
What do you do to show your ability to lead?