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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.

More by this author

Pat Evrard

Pat shows people how to become their best self and achieve lasting greatness.

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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