self-confident

How to Tell People “Be More Confident”

How to Tell People “Be More Confident”

Your first response would be to give it to someone straight. But did you know that doing so can be counterproductive? Yes, you have good intentions. Unfortunately, telling people to be more confident will suggest they aren’t.

Or, they’re self-assured and you might be mistaking their behavior for something else. For instance, soft-spoken persons don’t necessarily lack confidence. They may be wise and intelligent. On the other hand, you can’t assume loud people are confident. The truth can be the opposite.

So, if you think someone needs to improve their belief in themselves, here are better ways to go about it.

Get Rid of Your Biases

Before you tell people to be more assertive, the first step is to check if you’re making the right assumptions.

During meetings, you notice a colleague is silent the whole time. Maybe that person is weighing all the ideas being exchanged before forming an opinion or, like a sage, speaks only a few words.

A person’s view of confidence is subjective. You cannot assume based on your beliefs alone. A meek person doesn’t necessarily lack confidence. The perception that meekness is a sign of weakness clouds judgment.

Hold back on making assumptions the next time you meet a humble and quiet person. Appearances can be misleading.

Also, women hunched forward don’t mean they lack self-confidence. They may be trying to avoid objectification. How often have you heard “my eyes are up here”?

Compliment

Applaud every time your colleagues do something good if you want them to become more confident. Celebrate the small victories.

Great work! These two words can encourage people. Be sincere when you say it, though.

Be specific when you compliment others. Reinforce positive actions and show appreciation. A pat on the back can be enough.

Encourage

Employees, especially new hires, can be discouraged by setbacks. They can lose their confidence. It’s necessary to remind them that the road to success is filled with obstacles.

telling people to be more confident

Encourage them to move on from past failures and keep on plugging away. Remind them to use their strengths instead of focusing on their weaknesses.

If you’re a manager, assure your colleagues you have their backs. Telling them they have your support can improve their confidence.   

Address Specific Behaviors

Posture and body language can reflect a person’s confidence. But, you will agree that telling someone “look at people in the eyes during a presentation” is better than “be more confident.”

What are other behaviors you want your colleagues to improve or change? Focus on these instead of generalizing. More importantly, address these privately and not in public.

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