Stories Talk | Presentation Skills and Effective Storytelling
In the spirit of a complete review of workplaces and working conditions that has taken place over the last ten years, many studies have been conducted and much has been written about the importance of self-confidence. In any case, we know that in both personal relationships and social contacts, whoever is confident to a great extent wins the game!
By Mia Kollia
Translated by Alexandros Theodoropoulos
Confidence is the expression of our trust in something. In a work environment, it can be about the confidence we have in ourselves to accomplish what is required of us or even the belief in our strengths. This feeling means that we recognise our abilities, our specialisation and our potential. It is ultimately a virtue that can help us in many stages of our professional career.
Why is self-confidence in the workplace important?
1. Self-Confidence Improves efficiency
Confidence can give us the strength to be more efficient in every task we have to deal with. When we know our abilities, we don’t waste time wondering if we can do the job. We know how to deal with everything and so we become the ideal candidates for companies and ideal employees for our respective employer.
2. It allows us to set limits
In highly competitive workplaces it is common for some employers and co-workers to have requirements that go beyond our job description. In this case, self-confidence functions as a tool to delimit the tasks we undertake and the time in which we can accomplish them. The confidence we have in our abilities will support us in this difficult process.
3. It Raises the bar
Understanding the level of our abilities and having confidence in ourselves is an important tool in pushing ourselves to achieve more. When we know our limits, we can more easily give the necessary impetus to overcome them, thus reaching new levels of potential.
4. It Increases active participation
Workplaces require energy on the part of employees, at all levels. Confidence supports the ability we have to actively participate in all areas of our work. Believing that what we have to say has value will push us to participate in more group discussions and, thus, gain visibility and the trust of our superiors.
5. It Helps solve problems
Confidence in our abilities will enable us to solve many work problems easier or faster, as we won’t have to doubt ourselves at every step, to waste time or lose our faith in being able to find the solution.
6. It Overcomes doubts (imposter syndrome)
While it is always useful to reconsider our positions, there is a limit that, if exceeded, turns into doubt and fear. Fear has no place in the work environment, as it can destroy cooperative relationships and, most importantly, immobilize the development of our career. Objective belief in our abilities will free us from such fears.
7. It Improves leadership skills
No one can lead without confidence. Our subordinates will not be able to trust us if we don’t seem to trust ourselves. Leadership presupposes the ability to make decisions and take responsibilities - moves that are easy to make and effective when we have the necessary confidence.
8. It Supports risk taking
Many people often avoid taking risks because they lack self-confidence. Knowing our abilities and limits will help us take measured risks to advance our professional career and our ultimate success.
9. It Reduces stress
Believing in our abilities will reduce work stress. Some people consider every challenge as a threat to their abilities, but confident people know how to handle situations and therefore have much less work stress.
10. It Creates conditions for happiness
Reduced work stress is just one factor. Self-confidence also reduces the stress of everyday life based on the constant questioning of ourselves. Knowing our worth, we can reward ourselves for a good result, or speak for ourselves in positive words. All of the above contribute to a positive life context, creating the ideal conditions for achieving happiness.
Despite understanding the importance of self-confidence for a professional career, we may still have difficulty finding ways to express it.
Here's how we can increase our confidence in the workplace:
• We strengthen our knowledge and skills
It is wise to evaluate our abilities in different areas of our work. Especially now that technological developments are affecting work, it is important to invest time in constant education and training. Our objective skills will give us confidence.
• We cultivate our soft skills
Empathy, humility, developing trust with co-workers, discipline and active listening differentiate us and help us stand out in the workplace. Even if we have some of them inherent, it is important to cultivate them for life through coaching, workshops and personal development programs.
• We are not afraid of questions
Many believe that questions indicate a lack of knowledge. On the contrary! If we are going to undertake a project or a task, it is important not to be afraid of questions. The answers we will receive will help us understand the scope and specifics of the project. Thus, we will be able to manage it more efficiently and more successfully.
• We prepare well
Confidence is not just a personal matter. When we have to deal with objective difficulties or tasks at work, we won’t be able to feel comfortable if we aren’t prepared. Proper preparation will take time, but it will empower us to feel confident about ourselves and gain the respect of our colleagues.
• We improve our image
Often, our outward appearance says a lot for us. We take care of ourselves, our hair, our clothes and our appearance in general. When we feel good it is evident to the people around us and our self-confidence increases. Also, we don’t fail to project the way we feel towards others: we use an open posture, a smile and a warm way of communication.