Confident appearance is of great importance in the job: those who show self-confidence are noticed more and taken more seriously. Read here how you can leave your self-doubt behind and master your daily work with confidence.
In order to draw attention to one’s needs and demands from colleagues or superiors, appearance must be confident and assertive, because in the hectic world of work often overlooked nuances. Good self-confidence, strong self-confidence and proper self-esteem are the prerequisites for this. But what exactly is it and how do these traits develop?
You can take self-confidence literally: be aware of what you can do, but also where your weaknesses lie. Self-confidence allows you to have confidence in your ability to handle challenging tasks and situations thanks to your skills, knowledge, experience(s), and personality. And if you recognize your capabilities, your strengths, but also your weaknesses without judging yourself, you will have a good self-esteem.
The following tips can help you strengthen these traits and develop persuasive and confident behavior.
Analyze your individual strengths and challenges
Healthy self-confidence requires a flexible foundation
Be aware of who you are as a person and what you can do! Find out which activities work for you and which you find challenging. Record the result in writing. This way, you can gradually gain an overview of your strengths – as well as the challenges you face – in the course of work, which will help you improve and act with more confidence.
But beware: many people tend to be particularly aware of their alleged weaknesses. If you find it difficult to acknowledge your successes, write briefly every evening what you have achieved and what you have done well. With this small overview, you can dispel any doubts about your own abilities. You can develop specific strengths in a targeted manner, and you can work systematically on identified challenges. However, it’s not about eliminating all of your development areas – it’s about using your energy to enhance your strengths and dealing with your weaknesses only as often as they harm you or those around you.
Use compliments as well as criticism
You may have found a compliment for yourself before. You may have wondered if the compliment was meant to be taken seriously, or to put it in perspective: “Oh, anyone could do that. That was totally normal.” Practice being happy about a compliment without making it relativ. This is not only good for your self-esteem, but you also show your appreciation for giving a compliment.
If the other person is critical, check if the criticism is justified and think about what you can improve in the future. Remember: everyone makes mistakes, and confident behavior is reflected in approaching your failures in a confident, self-critical, but also appropriately relaxed manner.
Practice body language and appearance
Confident charisma is usually associated with an obvious physical presence. The building blocks of this are a comfortable upright posture, body tension, confident walking, attentiveness, interested and unobtrusive eye contact, and an authentic smile – all of this you can have, practice and improve. Regular exercise is useful here: the noticeable effect sooner or later has a direct impact on your posture and, accordingly, your attractiveness. Second, regular exercise gives an ego boost. Apart from the fact that a balanced exercise program is good for your health and mood.
Sharpen language and communication skills
Well-prepared content gives you the security and professional background to convincingly express yourself on a topic and to represent your opinion with confidence. In addition to this fact-based condition, the way you speak is also critical: tone makes music – and determines the perception of your appearance! The right volume and a comfortable but not too quiet speaking speed are important here. It is also important to avoid ways of speaking that indicate excitement or uncertainty, such as raising your voice at the end of a statement. Professional speech training can help here, but it’s not strictly necessary.
You can find rhetorical exercises that you can do on your own in the relevant literature, as video instructions or webinars. Practice in private and ask friends or family for immediate, honest feedback. Video recordings, which you can capture with your smartphone or webcam on your computer, can also be helpful. So you can see and hear how they “come across”.
You can exercise self-confidence and confident appearance! But do not chase after the idea of unshakable self-confidence. Being confident does not mean working hard with one’s radiance – and here the boundaries of bragging are quickly crossed. In the end, it’s all about strengthening some aspects of your appearance. Make your own original. But to do that, you have to get out of your “comfort zone” over and over again and take on challenges that you might find intimidating at first. Even small steps can give you a big step forward.
In the process, don’t let setbacks take the wind out of your sails – disappointments are not only part of the positive development of your self-confidence, they are necessary: you will emerge from them stronger because you fought your way and realized that you were able to walk through the valley and process the failures.
And a little tip at the end: look at your mistakes with a bit of self-loathing – your colleagues will perceive this as a calm, confident attitude and a sign of self-confidence.
Mr. Dr. Norbert Rolider is Professor of Human Resource Management and Social Interaction at Mainz University of Applied Sciences.
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