The Physical Traits of Confidence

Appearing confident (even if one isn’t) is very much about body language and to exude confidence we must present a “total package.”

First, steady eye contact is a must. Looking around, looking to a digital device, to the side or to the ground is a no-no. Eye contact makes people feel important and engaged.

There are a lot of opinions about handshakes and while a lot of people dislike “firm” handshakes, that is because many people over do it. Don’t crush someone’s hand but do be firm. Also, don’t play the game of trying to be the last to let go, this is more likely to lead to awkwardness than make one look confident.

Another way to create a persona of confidence is to engage someone by very lightly touching their shoulder. President Obama is famous for doing this. It can signal leadership, confidence and put the other person at ease.

When speaking to a group keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. Shifting your weight or crossing and uncrossing your legs makes you look nervous and fidgety. Take up space with your hands. Don’t be afraid to fill the empty space physical with your presence. Gesturing while speaking and filling the space with your presence with controlled and calculated movements will make you seem more confident, however be careful not to do it too much or too quickly, this can look chaotic.

Watching What We Say

While it is improbable to think one will go through life without ever offending someone, here are some faux-paus to actively avoid and the reasons why one should avoid them.

Don’t every tell a peer that they “look tired”. The imagery evoked by this comment is not flattering. Tired persons have darkened rings about the eyes, unkempt hair and maybe disheveled clothes. They cannot concentrate and are probably grumpy. If you are concerned about a peer just ask if they are OK. While asking if someone looks tired is usually meant to be helpful, it can often be misunderstood as a slight. Likewise, saying someone has lost a ton of weight implies they were fat to begin with, instead just tell your peer the look good without commenting on their previous appearance.

Sometimes slight rephrasings of comments meant in support of a colleague can totally change the interpreted meaning. If someone ends a romantic relationship, don’t ever tell your peer they were to good for them. This may be misconstrued as meaning the peer has poor taste in romantic partners. “Their loss” implies no criticism.

If you do need to criticize someone—hopefully in a helpful way—don’t ever tell a person that they “always” or “never” do something. In the real-world absolutes aren’t really factual. No person always or never does something. Often or frequently or another synonym implies a habit and habits can be changed where as absolutes feel written in stone.

Hopefully these tips will get you thinking about other common sayings and phrasings that might get misinterpreted.

Some Thoughts on Trust

When it comes to leadership, it is hard to think of something more important than trust. One could be talented, with an impressive CV. One could say the quote unquote “right things” but if one doesn’t have his colleagues trust, they have nothing.

Trust is difficult because it isn’t something one can do. It isn’t a bullet point on a resume. It’s pathos—an emotional connection with your peers. And it has two roots. It requires a strong belief on the part of you peers that you have their best interests in mind. Second, it requires a strong belief that you have the ability and knowledge to act on that vested interest.

So how does one plant the seed that will grow roots and flower with trust? Asking people for their advice and listening to them. People need to be heard. One needs to take an interest in what is important to their peers. This makes people feel they have validation. One must always be genuine. There is no middle ground when it comes to “playing politics.” One either has agendas or they don’t.

This influence is key for any leader, but it can also help anyone who would like to exert positive influence over the peers even if they are not a leader.

Good Leaders Ask for Help

In the American culture we have traditionally viewed great leaders as almost super-human in their strength. But of course, this strength is not often thought of as purely physical. Society has viewed great leaders as emotionally strong to the point of stoicism. Or we might think of it as mental of physical stamina.

Whatever the case may be, all leaders are human, and humans are vulnerable. Good leaders should view showing their vulnerability from time to time, by asking for help, an asset. A good leader should not think in terms of showing any vulnerability as a weakness.
There are two clear reasons why trying to be more than human isn’t a good plan. First, it is unsustainable. Life will eventually find a way to put a weakness, flaw or fault in our path and we will need help to overcome it.

Second, it isn’t good leadership. If we all can agree that leadership is about connection we can agree on this second point. We know that people will only work hard, create and risk for you if they feel connected. How can one create this level of trust by only putting our strengths on display? When the time comes for a leader to face one of their weakness they may come of as dishonest or at worst an outright fraud.

The best thing to remember is that our struggles define us in equal measure as our successes. Being able to be honest about needing help is an essential trait of a great leader.

Leadership is a Practice

It is reasonable to state that the contention about whether leaders are conceived or created has been settled. The fortune spent consistently by organizations on different types of education for leaders is proof enough for the possibility that, while certain leadership abilities might be hereditary, a lot of the stuff needed to be a leader can be learned.

The appropriate response, for most HR offices, has been courses, with a lot of classroom learning. The issue is that the classroom learning gives members information yet not the abilities required to do the things that will make them viable pioneers. Unified to this is an absence of acknowledgment of the significance of propensities to human conduct. It is on the grounds that we are animals of propensity that – notwithstanding when enlivened by courses when we are on them and first come back from them – we once in a while change how we approach our function in the more drawn out term, with the outcome that the association neglects to see the enhancement in business it was anticipating.

It is just by transforming book learning into abilities, that is, making them regular practices in our lives, that an individual can truly change and on account of a real or hopeful leader procure the stuff to be compelling. The essential thought is that giving only a couple of minutes daily to building up these key abilities can change how people carry on thus make them progressive and powerful.

Leadership is More Than Motivation

At the point when team members aren’t just drawn in, but are roused and full of energy, that is when organizations see genuine leaps forward. Roused workers are themselves unquestionably beneficial and, thus, motivate people around them to take a stab at more difficult achievements.

A few people concur that their leaders were moving towards or were creating inspiration in workers. Indeed, even less felt that their leaders encouraged commitment or responsibility and displayed the way of life and values of the organization.

Things being what they are, motivation alone isn’t sufficient. Similarly, as pioneers who convey just execution may do as such at a cost that the association is reluctant to manage, the individuals who center just around motivation may find that they inspire the troops yet are undermined by fair results. Rather, moving pioneers are the individuals who utilize their one of a kind mix of qualities to spur people and groups to go up against strong missions – and consider them responsible for results. What’s more, they open higher execution through strengthening, not order and control.