The question of confidence came up in a conversation I had recently on a LinkedIn Live that participated in with employment experts Mark Anthony Dyson and Jack Kelly.
Jack asked, “What do you advise to help someone who doesn’t feel confident?”
Let’s face it, many of us just don’t feel like we’re going to be regarded favorably when we go into a situation with other people—particularly a situation with other people who have power over our incomes.
We feel like we won’t stack up against other candidates, or that our self-promotion will be viewed as an exaggeration.It’s so easy to say, “Come on! Just look at all you’ve done! Just smile and relax and ‘be yourself!’ You will be fine!”
But I recognize that what seems simple to me isn’t so easy for everyone.I am a person who has felt relatively comfortable in a variety of settings with new people.
Oh, I’ve got fears! But generally, I feel pretty confident.And so, I tend to believe that another person will be like me with a few mindset shifts.
BUT: I have to remember that everyone is different. We all lead with different traits. Introverts tend to think things over quietly, while extroverts tend to externally process.
Some people are uncomfortable with taking the lead in a discussion, waiting for more direction. Others plow ahead and ask for clarification along the way. Life experience plays a role, too.
So, we each are starting from a different place.And yet, there are some basic tenets that we can consider.
I recently happened across a great presentation given by leadership coach Adam F. Schmidt, PCC, PMP, on this very topic. Here is some of the advice he gave, and I think it’s actionable, regardless of your style.
Adam points out that self-promotion is simply a way to share our passions and gift, to telegraph to our network how we can help.Truthfully, no one will know what you can do unless you tell them.
Here are his top tips:
If you can help or offer expertise, do it. Don’t qualify it with a self-deprecating comment. Don’t complain about the situation. It’s like contradicting yourself.
Know your audience. This is crucial! When you’re a job seeker, you need to know what the company is looking for.
Promote value, not yourself. Talk about the work and the results. (It will feel better and less like bragging.)
Get recommendations. Ask for them on LinkedIn. You’ve got a great tool here! (Start with your former colleagues and bosses.)
Reframe disapproval. Usually, it’s not about you. Say, “Thanks for the feedback!” and be positive.
Use social media. This one’s big for people who are not digital natives. These days, employers will look for you online. So why not showcase your skills and wins? Show who you are professionally.
Be authentic, generous, and build genuine relationships. This is where it counts big. And you can’t fake it easily. Be curious; offer to help. You will find that your credibility will grow over time. (And also, your friendships!)
Need some more guidance on this topic? Set up a chat with me!