How to grow influence and confidence in your career
Influence and confidence are interconnected. Both are required of us as we grow through our career journeys. I have found that my confidence drives my influence and as I grow in influence my confidence increases. As women, we sometimes struggle when it comes to maintaining a level of confidence in the workplace. Growing and influence and confidence to lead is not something we develop overnight. In fact, I have found that it becomes a part of the journey.
In this post, I am sharing some ways that women can grow in influence and confidence. My disclaimer is that I do not have a magic formula or a lightning lane. Nor do I have everything all figured out. What I can share are some practical ways that I made a conscious decision to lead with confidence and the results it yielded for me. If you have stories I invite you to share them in the comments below.
Throughout my career, I have found myself in a number of influential leadership roles. I lead a Diversity Business Resource Group and have responsibility for strategic alignment to our enterprise, leading a group of my peers, and maintaining oversight of the organization. I also serve on a not-for-profit board and lead other efforts in the workplace.
My confidence plays an essential role in my ability to lead others. When I am empowered it is easier for me to empower others. When my confidence is lacking for whatever reason, I find it difficult to influence from a place of authority.
I am learning to quickly identify when my confidence level is triggered and create mental frameworks for me to combat any doubts and fear so I can lead with confidence.
Encouragement for Emerging Leaders
The best way for a person to develop as a leader is for them to lead!
The best way for a person to develop as a leader is for them to lead! @CoachDsLife #careermomcommunityTweet
If it is your desire to lead, make your aspirations known to your network, managers, and support system. Leadership opportunities can be informal or formal. Both are equally important.
I’m sure you are familiar with the quote, “do not despise small beginnings” – Unknown. Each opportunity, big or small, adds to your leadership tool kit.
For example, I led a work stream for a divestiture, it taught me how to navigate unchartered territory while maintaining a sense of urgency. I coached cheerleading for over 10 years and it taught me empathy and how to meet people at the level of their skill. It also taught me how to push people beyond their comfort zones without running the risk of crushing their spirits.
I’m sure if you reflect on your career journey, you too will be able to identify situations where you displayed influential leadership and the many lessons added to your leadership tool kit.
Show Up with Confidence
As I reflect on the examples above and the lessons learned, I am thankful I had the confidence to pursue those opportunities and the confidence to execute the assignments. Here are some ways that I exuded confidence.
Taking the assignment
It may sound simple but it really is that simple. Taking on an assignment is a sure way to show that you are confident in your ability to execute. There have been times when I wanted to decline opportunities out of fear that I was not ready but I made the decision to believe in myself and seized the opportunity.
Ask Questions with Confidence
I have learned that asking questions is not a show of weakness. It’s how we ask the question. If we ask in a manner that shows timidity, others will perceive timidity. If we ask in a confident manner it shows confidence in our ability to seek to understand and gain an appropriate level of clarity.
Use Positive Language
As career moms, we lead with grace. We show grace and expect grace in return! When I show up with confidence my words align with my actions and my action and words exude confidence.
Overcoming a Lack of Confidence
I will touch on this more in another blog post. In the meantime, I encourage women who struggle with confidence in the workplace to gain clarity about their skills, value proposition, and uniqueness. When we understand who we are and what we bring to the table we become more confident in our abilities.
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To Wrap It Up
Growing in influence and confidence is a journey. Taking deliberate steps each day to grow in this area will yield results over time. It won’t happen overnight but with the right mindset, daily practices, and intention we can become better each day.