Want More Confidence as a Project Manager?

Oct. 1, 2016
7 Tactics to Get It “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”  – Oscar Wilde The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is less than 1%. The difference between them […]

7 Tactics to Get It

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."  – Oscar Wilde

The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is less than 1%. The difference between them isn’t technical skills or business acumen or experience: it is confidence.

Self-confidence is that magical quality that draws people to you. Self-confidence reflects the image that your subconscious mind has about you.

The good news is that you can train your subconscious to be more confident. Here are the top 6 ways to do it.

Tactic #1: Watch Your Body Language
Your body language says a lot about you. You may say one thing, but if the tone of your voice and your gestures don’t match what you’re saying, people will not believe you. Sure, you can fake what you say, but your body gestures come from your subconscious mind, and they are automatic.

Next time you walk into an uncomfortable situation about which you are nervous, imagine how you would act if you were naturally confident.
• What would your posture be?
• How would your voice sound?
• What kind of things would you say to yourself?

In Amy Cuddy’s 2012 TED Talk, "Your body language shapes who you are", she advocates the power pose. Her research found that if you stand in a power pose for 2 minutes, you will experience an increase in testosterone, decrease in cortisol, and an increase in appetite for risk — which all lead to better performances and higher confidence. (To view Cuddy’s TED Talk, please visit http://www.ted.com/search?q=Amy+Cuddy.)

Tactic #2: Daily Confidence Meditation
Confidence is an internal game — it has little to do with your measurable skills. Since self-confidence is the image your subconscious mind has about you, you can change it through meditation.

Take a moment each day to be silent and listen to your authentic self. Meditation is not the same as sleep. You are still aware of each moment, but you are not clouded with all the thoughts that run through your head.

As you meditate each day, program your unconscious mind for confidence and success.

Tactic #3: Change Your Internal Self Talk
One trait of successful people is how they handle failure. Interestingly, successful people never see it as a failure. They see it as a stepping stone to success.

When a reporter asked Thomas Edison what it was like to fail 10,000 times before inventing the lightbulb, he famously responded, "I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work."

How you see things and how you talk to yourself makes all the difference. There’s a way to look at every seemingly negative situation in a positive light. Catch yourself whenever your "gremlin" appears and tells you all sorts of negative things about yourself. Know that the gremlin voice is not real.

Tactic #4: Surround Yourself With Positive People
You are the average of the 5 persons that you spend the most amount of time with — so surround yourself with people who lift you up.

Don’t let pessimistic people bring you down. Sometimes, this means cutting old ties; and it can be painful to let go of old pals.

Tactic #5: Get a Mentor or Coach
Life coaches are great. They will listen to you without judgement, and help you overcome mental barriers that are holding you back. You may have unresolved issues from your childhood that are causing you to doubt your abilities. Your coach can help you let go of the past, create empowering meaning for these events, and build your confidence in the process.

Tactic #6: Dress for Success
Did you know that a doctor’s approval rating goes up when she/he wears a white lab coat? People form perceptions about their environment through their eyes all the time. If you look the part, they will believe you play the part.

Take this analogy: Imagine 2 salesmen walked into a meeting with you. Salesman #1 is wearing a suit, while Salesman #2 is wearing a t-shirt and shorts. No matter how good Salesman #2’s presentation is, you will still have more confidence in the abilities of Salesman #1 because he is wearing a suit. Why? Because a suit symbolizes professionalism.

So, dress for success. It will build your confidence subconsciously, and send the message that you are confident in yourself. Treat each day as if it is the most important day of your life — and dress like it, too.

Tactic #7: Invest in Your Education
Continue to invest in yourself. If there are technical skills that are critical to your project, take the time to learn the basics so you can speak the same lingo as your team members. When you can speak the same language as your team, you will not only gain their trust, but also build your own confidence to manage your team.

Keep in mind that confidence is a method of thinking, and a way of being — and everyone can obtain it. Remember the quote from Henry Ford: Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.

About the Author

Helena Lui

Helena Lui is a Project Management Instructor at ExamsPM. She has worked in project management for IBM, Apple, and Microsoft. For more information, please email [email protected] or visit http://www.examspm.com.