Have you ever had a friend who could voice your thoughts better than you could? I was telling my friend Steve about my new attorney, Brian—and how he had outshined anyone else I'd interviewed.
“I got the feeling if he ever needed to defend me in tax court, he would take no prisoners,” I said. Steve's reply hit the nail on the head:
"You had confidence in him."
Yes. I had confidence in Brian (and still do) because of all the ways he built trust and credibility: offering a free consultation. Spelling out the nature of our meeting. Giving me detailed information I could use whether I went with him or not. Following up, for goodness' sake. Offering the lowest fee.
Ultimate Reminder of the Day ...
The attorney, through his conduct, and my friend, through his insight, gave me a brilliant lesson in how to build self-confidence: Inspire confidence in others.
You don't have to have a certain title, status, or education to do this. You just need to care, which I'm sure you do. If you're consistently caring and competent, you can be sure you already inspire confidence.
A few ways to turn inspiration into action
- Showing up on time—prepared, rested, and in good spirits
- Meeting deadlines without being asked
- Anticipating the needs of those you serve; being one step ahead
- Managing expectations; e.g., if you're running late, letting others know
- Paying bills on time; showing you're reliable
- Doing all of these things cheerfully, without a lot of fanfare
Turning conventional wisdom on its ear
Most of us have been taught to gain confidence by focusing on ourselves—standing up straighter, for example, or speaking up and smiling more. All of these behaviors have their place.
But if you want to gain self-confidence without becoming overly self-conscious, turn your focus to those you interact with. Look for ways to uphold their confidence in you, and you will rediscover a healthy confidence in yourself.
If you're consistently caring and competent, you can be sure you already inspire confidence.
— Gina DeLapa