Whether you're running your own business, leading a team or you're just starting out at a new company, being confident and self assured is an important trait. Whilst it's possible to fake confidence, this isn't usually a viable long-term solution, and others can often see through it in the long run.
So how can you improve your self confidence in the workplace? One of the easiest ways is to practice your assertiveness skills, which in turn has been shown to boost your overall levels of self-esteem and produce natural, genuine confidence.
Here are five assertiveness skills you can practice to help boost your productivity and performance at work:
1. Posture and body language
Your posture can play an important role in your confidence levels, as well as how you come across to other people. Often, slouching can make you feel (and appear) less confident. Try pulling your shoulders back and lifting your chin when you talk to people, this will naturally make you feel more confident, and help you be more assertive.
2. Keep eye contact
Eye contact has always been an integral part of interpersonal communications, helping to establish a rapport, trust and respect between individuals. Try to practice maintaing eye contact with people when you're talking to them, particularly when you first meet people. If you're struggling, try and note someone's eye colour when you're introduced to them, helping you to look them in the eye naturally.
3. Maintain your personal space
Assertive people are able to maintain their personal space and keep a physical boundary. If someone is invading your personal space, you can take a step back, use your body to create space or simply request that someone backs off a little.
4. Active listening
In order to communicate more effectively, it's important to listen so you can respond with confidence. Make sure people know you're listening to them by maintaining eye contact, using non-verbal signals (for example, nodding) or asking relevant questions.
5. Repeat yourself
Assertive people are not afraid to repeat themselves, calmly re-stating what they want (or don't want). This technique can be very effective for asserting yourself, although it's usually best used on people you don't have an existing relationship with (for example salespeople or someone who has cold called you).
By practicing these simple techniques at work, you can begin to assert yourself more regularly, which will boost your self-esteem and help you be naturally confident in the workplace.