You may not be the boss — yet. But exuding confidence at work is a great way to get the attention of higher-ups so you’ll be top of mind when that boss role becomes available. In today’s “Financially Savvy Female” column, we chat with career experts and professional coaches to get their best tips for giving off “boss energy” no matter what your current position may be.
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Give Yourself a Pep Talk
As trite as this may sound, getting others to believe in you begins with believing in yourself. Remind yourself of your worth before any interaction with your colleagues.
“Start by having a healthy view of yourself and knowing your value,” said Jennine Heller, certified professional performance coach. “Get grounded in the excellence you bring to your work: What are you good at? What do others appreciate in you? What does it feel like to be excelling? Before any interaction, remind yourself of these things, even if they’re not directly related to the discussion at hand.”
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“Go prepared into meetings,” said Anjela Mangrum, founder and president of Mangrum Career Solutions and certified personnel consultant. “I know practicing in front of a mirror seems cliché, but it is by far the most effective strategy when preparing for important conversations or meetings. A lot of ‘umms’ can distract from your actual message, so learning your talking points can be a good start when you need to appear confident.”
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Use Confident Language
“Eliminate phrases like, ‘I think that…'” said Barbara McMahan, executive coach with Atticus Consulting, LLC. “End sentences with strength rather than a questioning tone.”
You should also exude confidence through your body language.
“Make eye contact and stand with your head held high,” McMahan said.
Back Up What You Say With Data
Anyone can throw out a random idea at a meeting, but backing up your suggestions with data is a boss move that will earn the attention of your colleagues.
“If you are able to gather and share data, that is a way to get others to listen to you and value what you say,” said Carolyn Kleiman, career expert at Resumebuilder.com. “If you are asked your opinion about something, speak up, be clear and back up what you say with examples if possible.”
Leverage Your Strengths
“Recognize your strengths and leverage them wherever possible,” Mangrum said. “For instance, if you’re an extrovert, perhaps you could offer to mentor or train new hires — that itself is a confidence-building activity. Creative introverts can actively participate in projects that can benefit from their innovation. The key is to recognize opportunities to show off your skills.”
Be an Engaged Listener
“As counterintuitive as it may seem, to have others respect you and your opinions you must be a good listener,” said Janice Tomich, an executive speaker coach. “Listen in a way that you truly hear and are able to put yourself in the shoes of your colleagues. It’s from this perspective that you will connect with your co-workers and teams, and understand the depth of conversations. From that place of knowledge, you will have the insight to respond as a trusted source as well as being seen as one.”
Stay True to Yourself
Even bosses don’t know everything, so it’s OK to admit when you don’t know something. Showing up as your authentic self will earn you more respect than trying to impress others by being someone you are not.
“Being yourself requires being humble and owning that you have specific expertise and knowledge,” Tomich said. “Realize that you don’t know everything and sometimes you will be wrong. And when you are wrong, own it and apologize. You’ll be surprised by the reaction when you are your true, authentic self. Others will have confidence in you, which transpires into having confidence in yourself.”
GOBankingRates wants to empower women to take control of their finances. According to the latest stats, women hold $72 billion in private wealth — but fewer women than men consider themselves to be in “good” or “excellent” financial shape. Women are less likely to be investing and are more likely to have debt, and women are still being paid less than men overall. Our “Financially Savvy Female” column will explore the reasons behind these inequities and provide solutions to change them. We believe financial equality begins with financial literacy, so we’re providing tools and tips for women, by women to take control of their money and help them live a richer life.
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