[Is this you?]
Two Dreaded Words
Has anyone ever asked you, ‘What’s wrong?’ If they have, then you probably had an expression on your face that was sad, disappointed or plain pitiful. I am not suggesting that you become cardboard, but when in a business setting, [and especially if you are a leader in your company], you might need to take that ‘heart’ off your sleeve, at least in the office. Why? We form opinions, right or wrong, in the first few seconds of meeting someone. How you present yourself is a direct reflection on you and your company. If you are looking anything but self-assured, you are missing a great opportunity to gain people’s trust and leave a lasting impression.
What would F. Scott Fitzgerald say?
‘You always look so cool…’ was the famous phrase extracted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, which became the definitive description in the ‘20s of class and confidence. One hundred years later, things haven’t changed. People can still spot confidence, real confidence, a mile away. It’s something you can’t fake for very long, if at all. Underneath this phrase is a principle that is timeless: people will only believe in you when you believe in yourself…and SHOW IT!
Accountability + Self Assurance = Effective Leadership
Confidence and self-assurance are born from real accomplishments and a track record that cannot be denied. Genuine confidence resides in people who have created resilience and who know that whatever happens, they will be able to succeed, come what may. People will only believe in your ‘song’ when they believe you are its sole composer, meaning you are the real “McCoy” and you are authentically in alignment with what you say and what you do.
In business, this is a useful tool and particularly important if you want your employees to follow your direction. Always be positive, a stellar example and ‘walk your talk’ making sure your actions follow your vision and your goals.
Here are a few ways to demonstrate that ‘coolness’ and project confidence which will then help everyone on your team believe in your mission and reach for the brass ring:
a) Walk upright, shoulders back, head upright [ as opposed to hunched over and head down]
b) Look people square in the eyes; eyes never wandering
c) Greet people with a secure, but not overly firm or soft handshake
d) Speak less of your own accomplishments and more about others
e) Listen intently and ask questions, showing an interest in what others have to say
f) Be silent in between dialogue; don’t feel the need to always fill space
g) Speak in an even and moderate pace
h) Smile often and look relaxed
Wishing you a life full of unlimited health, happiness and prosperity.
– Mark Luterman