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6 Tricks Successful Businessmen Use to Project Confidence

6 Tricks Successful Businessmen Use to Project Confidence

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

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Business woman standing tall

    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.

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    3. They adopt and regularly reinforce a positive mental attitude

    Positive thinking

      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:

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      • 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

      Lego businessman

        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.

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        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.

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        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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        Last Updated on April 17, 2019

        10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

        10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career

        What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.

        Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.

        They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.

        1. Communication Skills

        Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.

        To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!

        Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.

        Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.

        After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.

        2. Flexibility

        Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.

        Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.

        Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.

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        Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.

        3. Being a Team Player

        Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

        What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.

        This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.

        Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.

        4. Positive Mental Attitude

        There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.

        Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.

        Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life![1]

        It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.

        Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.

        5. A Strong Work Ethic

        People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.

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        If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.

        Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:

        • A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
        • How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
        • The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
        • How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.

        For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic

        6. Public Speaking

        Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.

        Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent.[2] That’s huge!

        If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.

        For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.

        Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

        7. Integrity

        From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:

        • Always doing what you say you will do
        • Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it

        …even when no one is around to check up on you.

        There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.

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        Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.

        8. Managing Your Time

        Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.

        A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.

        Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.

        Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.

        These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.

        9. Assertiveness

        In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:

        • Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
        • Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
        • Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
        • Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.

        Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.

        How do you use this information for yourself?

        It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.

        Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:

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        How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way

        10. Creative Thinking

        LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand.[3] Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.

        Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.

        How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.

        Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”

        These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.

        You can learn to unleash your creativity power:

        What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

        Final Thoughts

        The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.

        So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.

        The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.

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        Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com

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