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10 Signs Of Truly Confident People

10 Signs Of Truly Confident People

Confidence is a fruit of knowledge and attitude.

It is a cornerstone of every great success and its cheap version, cockiness, happens when confidence is stripped of either of its parts. Cockiness stinks, doesn’t it?

True confidence on the other hand attracts. But why?

Because the keys to our greatest realisations are often held by confidence. We are all born with it, but sometimes setbacks snatch it away. And so we seek, until we encounter someone who reminds us of what we can be. That someone, or those someones are confident people. You are either one, or on your way to become one.

You can recognise them by their contagious peace, their joie de vivre and a combination of the following traits:

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1. They Display Composure

Composure opts for reason instead of emotions. Composure is emotional control, and emotion control is why confident people are usually the last to panic or the only ones not to.

Although they feel pain like anybody else, confident people approach it by taking action instead of remaining on the receiving end of awful. They imagine themselves as having been through the situation before, and provoke their best reaction by asking this simple question: How would a confident person handle this?

As a result they remain cool, calm and collected.

2. They Are Not Easily Offended

Simply because they know their worth.

Just like calling a cat a car will never make it one, confident people know that they only are who they choose to be. Insults and remarks that do not agree with their self image they ignore, because to them, being defensive is a drain on mental resources. “Why spoil a beautiful smile?” -says every confident person.

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3. They Speak With Authority

Authority comes with knowledge and experience. And like I mentioned earlier, knowledge is one of the foundations of confidence.

It is because I know, or because I know that I don’t know, that I speak. Either way, I know.” From this premise, confident people approach every conversation free of doubt and rich with assurance. That is why their voice shows firmness from the very first seconds of any conversation, which research has shown to be the most critical for perceiving authority.

4. They Celebrate Others

Because they know their place in life, they are not frightened by the light in others. Rather, they nurture it, lift others up and encourage them to stay there. From a confident person’s vantage point, a confident speech comes after a confident sound engineer did his job, to which he was driven by a confident bus driver, who was encouraged by a confident husband. Everyone wins when we all do well.

5. They Are Decisive

One of the biggest fuels of procrastination and therefore failure, is indecision. For example, when questions like “When should I start?” and “When should I approach?” linger for long, they often translate to never.

So to avoid never, confident people choose to choose, thereby setting in motion the happy cycle of decisiveness.

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How does it work? Choices either produce victories which make you more confident, or lessons which increase your knowledge and therefore confidence. Because your confidence is built, choosing becomes easier and you become even more decisive. Thus, the happy cycle of decisiveness.

6. They Focus On Their Strengths

A sure way to beat confidence out of you is to focus on everything that makes you small, rather than everything that elevates you. Unfortunately, that is something our minds tend to naturally do. One of the ways confident people overcome this is by having a list of their strengths, which they happily remind themselves every time they start to feel down.

7. They Take Initiatives

…but you might be thinking this the other way round, so let’s make it clear. Initiatives do not always come from confidence, but the act of taking initiatives builds confidence. By taking initiatives you discover what your limits are and how you can push them, which ultimately puts you in control of the most powerful tool in existence: Yourself. Is it a coincidence that confident leaders are very self aware? No.

If you wish to build your confidence, start things. Most importantly, start small.

8. They Maintain An Open Body Posture

A closed posture says “I’m not sure of your intentions, please do not come”, while and open posture says “I believe you cannot harm me, so come, I welcome you.” That is why people tend to give up their defences in the presence of confident people. They make others feel at ease.

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Although the list of what constitutes good posture has been discussed ad nauseam, like good manners, a little refresher is always welcome. Here are 5 tricks to make your posture more inviting:

  • Lean into conversations, not back.
  • Show your palms from time to time when talking to a crowd.
  • Maintain eye contact with the people you talk to.
  • Avoid crossing your arms during meetings. Instead, keep them apart.
  • When you smile, go all the way. Engage those eyes and forehead. Be genuine.

9. They Are Loving & Humble

Love requires accepting people for who they are since values are always relative anyway. Confident people have grown to love and accept themselves so much, that the practise of it has made them perfect. Hence they tend to open arms, welcome others and smile with and without reason. With them, it is always your day, rarely ever their day. They stay humble.

10. They Never Stop Learning

Let me say it one more time. Knowledge fuels confidence and ignorance fuels doubt. To nurture the confidence which they have worked so hard at building, they keep learning. But learning has other advantages for confident people: It helps them understand others better, understand themselves better and understand life better. Coincidentally, the more they learn, the less they judge others.

In Closing,

Let me say this. Confidence is not a have or not-have. It is not switched on, it grows. Starting the journey is all it takes to have a step into it. From there, the only limit is yourself. Now go ahead and make the step, you’ll find me somewhere along the way.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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