Being capable and being confident don’t always go hand in hand – there are plenty of businessmen and entrepreneurs who are great at what they do yet have trouble when presenting their ideas, trying to network and even when dealing with their subordinates. On the other hand, in certain cases it’s the people who are confident and bold that can get others motivated or interested, even though these people may not be particularly qualified or skilled. To be an effective team leader, you have to project confidence.
Some successful businessmen were incredibly confident to begin with, but many of them actually had to learn how to put themselves in the right frame of mind and to understand what it was that they had to do in order to come off as a strong leader. In this article, we will be looking at some of the tricks used by successful and powerful people to make themselves seem high status and important, i.e. like someone who knows what they are doing and should be trusted.
1. They study confident body language cues and apply them in their daily lives
Not many people can just walk out the door exhibiting incredibly confident body language characteristics of leaders and powerful individuals. In fact, only a minority of people have inborn alpha traits that are further developed given the right circumstances, while the rest need to learn about all the right body language cues and practice them during the day. The confident look is not something that can be turned on when needed and forgotten about, it is something that you need to practice until it becomes second nature. Walking to the store with a steady pace and your head held high or pushing out the chest and keeping eye contact while talking to somebody can become your normal way to hold yourself with enough practice.
2. They showcase their strengths and hide their weaknesses
There is a difference between being confident and being arrogant or delusional. The best of the best are masters of hiding their weaknesses, and they will seldom allow anyone to see anything but their good sides. In conversation, they will focus on topics they know well and they will be able to give their superiors several reasons why they are a valuable asset to the company off the top of their head without even blinking.
They will seek out problems that can be solved using their unique skill set, and delegate those that they are unprepared for, while counting any success achieved by their chosen delegate as a testament to their team management or leadership skills. Just like good makeup and the right clothes can help you enhance some of your better features and hide some of the less desirable ones, so can a tactical approach to conversation and self-promotion help you show off your skills and knowledge, while keeping your shortcomings well hidden.
3. They adopt and regularly reinforce a positive mental attitude
Even the bravest and strongest among us can feel scared, sad, anxious, intimidated, depressed, self-conscious, and generally pessimistic. However, what sets these powerful and confident people apart is that they don’t like to quit and give into despair. They will wake up every morning with a clear idea of who they are and what they need to do – and they spend time reinforcing that idea. They do their morning routine to the sound of their personal mantra echoing in their head, dispelling any doubts and fears. While it’s alright to occasionally face your fears, be honest with yourself and work through certain issues, most of the time these negative thoughts will just bring you down and keep you from making progress, so you’ll need to get them out of your head and focus on positive thinking.
4. They work on developing a successful businessman persona and practice playing this part
In order to be perceived as powerful and confident you must act the part. People usually think that you need to find confidence within yourself before it can be displayed outwardly, but it can be beneficial to focus on looking and acting confidently, and just have your mind gradually match up with your behavior. Successful people will make an effort to look high status, and that means focusing on several important areas like:
- Impeccable hygiene
- Good grooming habits
- Tasteful and appropriate attire
- A selection of gadgets and accessories that serve as status symbols
- Deep understanding of social norms, customs and proper manners
- Eloquence and good rhetorical skills
- Graceful and deliberate movements
- Being familiar with a variety of environments, tools and topics of discussion
If you want to project an image of a powerful, successful, competent and confident businessman, you need the right attire, props and dialog to go with that persona. We all know the basic look of success – a neat haircut, clean shave for men and appropriate makeup for ladies, a nice suit/dress suit and matching shoes or clothes appropriate for a particular occasion, an elegant briefcase or bag and classy perfume in small amounts. Investing in a newer model smartphone or tablet, printing out unique business cards, familiarizing yourself with the staff at the more popular restaurants and doing a bit of research on the people you are going to meet for the first time are a few more things you can do to leave a good impression. Being prepared and looking the part also helps make you feel more at ease, which is an important trait of confident people.
5. They don’t hesitate to take action and will speak their mind without trying to please anyone
A lot of great opportunities are missed because people fail to take action at the right moment, and then their chance to make a difference is lost. Hesitation is usually born out of fear and overthinking – which are traits of insecure people. A confident person will seize every opportunity, even though that often means throwing him or herself out there and stepping far out of any established comfort zone. However, these actions are never motivated by a desire to please others, and it is unbecoming of a strong independent person to devote their time to trying to get others to like them by doing favors for them, or to change to meet other people’s expectations.
It’s important to note that taking action means making choices and then actually seeing things through. To seem confident you need to be proactive, offer your sincere opinions on different matters and be prepared to stand up for yourself. This doesn’t mean that you should be confrontational or make crazy impulsive decisions, it just means that you shouldn’t hesitate to act when a good opportunity presents itself.
6. They act as if they were at their own home in any setting they find themselves in
When we combine all the previous points, we get someone with a confident posture, who knows how to hold themselves in different social situations, dresses well, has a positive mindset and isn’t afraid to speak their mind and take action. The most important thing to remember though, is that this kind of person will feel as comfortable and relaxed in a new restaurant, busy airport or business meeting, as they would if they were sitting at home and having a chat with friends over some coffee.
They dress as casually as the occasion allows, don’t sweat the little details, don’t fidget around or stand stiff as a robot in the middle of the room and always seem to know what they are doing. As long as you make slow and deliberate movements, have a warm smile on your face and talk in a calm voice you will look like you belong – people will often mistakenly approach confident businessmen in venues thinking that they are involved in the organization or even that they own the place. Looking like you belong has many benefits, not the least of which being that people will gravitate towards you and feel more comfortable in your presence.
Many entrepreneurs have built successful business empires by being confident and never doubting their own capabilities or fearing the odds. Virtually anyone can emulate a successful businessman by using these tricks to develop a strong and confident personality. No, you won’t become a confident overachiever over night, but by putting in the effort and focusing on making the right improvements you will be able to gradually increase your confidence levels and positively affect both your career and personal life.