Almost all people have doubts. They’re what make confidence so appealing, so seductive. It triggers people’s need to remove them. It’s security. It trumps content. Therefore, faking confidence at work plays a huge role in success there.
Confidence As Learnable Tool
One can learn confidence too. The military teaches it to commanders. Sports’ associations teach it to their umpires, referees and other such officials. In short, they learn to fake it.
That means confidence is not a personality trait. It’s a tool. It’s also a weapon. One can use it to exert dominance. Again, this all taps people’s need for security.
Tips For Achieving The Confident Mental State
Granted, some seem naturally confident. It’s easy to be such if unaware, if short-sighted. That’s why confidence correlates well with incompetence. For instance, prudence, not confidence, makes for a better forecaster of events.
The reason for going into all this is to show confidence isn’t an emotional state. It’s a state of mind. One can be emotionally doubtful and still be confident. That means accepting that:
- Uncertainty exists and will always be there.
- The best solution is a myth so chasing it wastes time; many great ones exist.
- Ways to work through rough spots will always be there.
- Overthinking, hesitancy and vacillation create more trouble than uncertainty.
- Doubt ensures great preparation and wards off hubris.
- People don’t like rude people but see them more powerful than the respected.
Tips For Faking Confidence At Work
These points yield the following practical tips for faking confidence at work:
- Keep answers and statements short. They’re bullets. Supplement with longer ones but don’t exceed 20% of content.
- Don’t hedge. Be definitive. Avoid “maybe,” “tends,” “often,” etc.
- Look them in the eyes when delivering the key point or answer.
- Answer the question. It’s their responsibility to ask good questions. Give more if they ask.
- Don’t apologize unless it’s truly a serious error. Then, do so only once and move on.
- Stick up for one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Don’t apologize for them. If needed, say something like, “I’m sorry you felt my behavior offended you.”
Confidence is like magic. Deep down, people know there’s a trick to it. They know there’s no way to erase uncertainty. Yet, they can’t help themselves. They want to believe. It’s fake, but they like it. Confidence is the drug that soothes people’s fear of the unknown.