How to gain more confidence as a manager
Are you just starting out in the role of leader or manager?
If yes, then you would probably agree that it is sometimes difficult to feel as confident as you would like to feel.
You may lack confidence because your situation is new.
The manager role is tricky because the manager is under pressure from all sides.
The manager is under pressure from the other members of the team, also under pressure from the more senior "bosses", and may also be under pressure from suppliers and customers.
Under these conditions it is easy to feel a lack of confidence.
But in order to effectively fill the role of manager you need to feel more confident. And you need to feel confident in yourself, especially on tough days.
So the important question is: How can you manufacture more self-confidence?
How to manufacture more self-confidence
To manufacture more self-confidence, there are three things that you can do:
- Think positively
- Speak to others in positive terms
- Plan ahead more
Let us make some notes on each of the above three points:
1. Think positively
Confidence is an emotion that is based on positive thinking.
Confidence is an emotion. And like all emotions, confidence is the product of your thinking.
- If you think you will win, you will feel confident.
- If you think you will lose, you won't feel confident.
- If you think that tomorrow will be good, then you will feel confident.
- If you think that tomorrow will be bad, then you will NOT feel confident.
Remember, nobody can give you confidence. You must create if for yourself, by directing your
Mind away from thinking about:
- The things you fear
- All the things that could possibly go wrong
- Wondering if they like you or not
Instead, to develop more confidence: keep your mind trained on answering the following three questions, over and over in a never ending loop.
- What is my goal?
- What is the plan that will best achieve the goal?
- What is the very next thing to do?
In fact you may want to write these questions on a card and pin it where you will see it constantly. Keep asking and answering the same questions and this will keep your mind ON the thoughts that tend to generate confidence and OFF the thoughts that tend to create fear.
Keep your mind off your fears, and put in onto thinking about your goals, your plans and your actions.
2. Speak to others in positive terms
Point one was about changing the way you think. Point two is about making the same changes in the way you speak.
DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO KEEP TALKING ABOUT THE THINGS YOU FEAR.
Every time you tell people that you are worried, or fearful, or that you lack confidence, two things happen:
- You reinforce to yourself that you are worried, fearful and that you lack confidence.
- You cause people to start doubting your ability to do the job. Remember that nobody will have any more faith in you, than you do of yourself.
- If you tell other people that you lack confidence in yourself, then you will cause that other person to lose confidence in you too.
Do NOT tell everyone that you lack confidence
Instead focus your conversation onto the same list of three questions and the answers to them.
- Talk about the goal.
- Talk about the plan.
- Talk about the next action to be taken.
And if you want to talk about how you feel, tell others that you feel confident that the future will work out well.
Whether you truly believe it or not, say it anyway.
Tell the team that!
Tell them the following speech:
"I am confident that if we focus on the goal, formulate good plans and take the right actions, then we can, and we will, achieve our goal, on time!"
Learn to speak in these terms.
Say it over and over.
As you say it more frequently, your brain will start to accept this as the proper way of thinking and you will find yourself feeling more and more confident, over time.
I promise you that this will work.
It will work because how you feel is determined by what you think and by what you talk about.
If you talk in positive terms about your prospects for the future then you will feel confident.
And if you talk in negative terms, you will feel no confidence.
Confidence comes from confident thought and speech and actions.
3. Plan ahead more
As noted in point 2, it is important to talk about the goal and the plan.
But you cannot talk about your plan if you don't have a plan.
So in order to have more confidence, plan, plan, plan, plan-ahead.
If you are having a staff appraisal, plan it in advance.
If you are going on a journey to London, plan it in advance.
If you are going to make a complaint, plan out what you will say and in what order you will say it.
A lack of confidence is often a symptom that you don't know what you are doing
If you did know what you were intending to do, and how you are intending to do it, then you would have more confidence.
Plans build confidence.
A lack of a plan is the cause of a lack of confidence.
You need to be known for three things:
- You need to be known as a person who is goal focused.
- You need to be known as a person who is well prepared with a detailed plan of action.
- You need to be known as a person who takes action on plans.
If you keep doing these three things, you will always have more confidence.
If you don't do these three things, you will always lack confidence.