The issue of women’s confidence at work has had so much discussion in the last few years.
For example an American report in 2014 said that when women start working for a company, although 43% aspire to be in senior management, only 27% think they have the confidence to do so. After 2 years employment this confidence figure drops to a lowly 13%.
Whereas men start at a similar 28% being confident but after 2 years of experience this rockets to 55% of them believing they have the confidence to reach a senior level job.
So what exactly is this mysterious confidence that reports suggest we lack as women and is it actually important?
Professor Cameron of the University of California who has researched the issue of confidence versus competence says
confident employees are often promoted over those who are more competent, as colleagues and employers mistake their confidence for talent
The result of this is that success is shown to be more closely related to confidence than to competence. This doesn’t mean that to succeed in their career women have to have big egos or stop being authentic. They do have to have self-belief and be able to demonstrate it to their managers though.
A woman’s style of confidence can be very different from a man’s. To ensure others recognise your self-belief, keep your focus on these 3 A’s of confidence building:
Understand your own style of confidence, the situations where it is strong and where it is lacking.
Be aware of how others demonstrate their confidence and which styles you like and could incorporate into your own behaviour.
Identify your core values. This is important as it will give you the confidence to know your own intuition and stick with it.
Recognise that your opinion is as valid and worthwhile as everyone else ’s. This will give you the courage to speak up in situations you may have found tricky
If you can be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses and yet focus on the things you do really well. It will help you maintain a positive and confident mindset
Rather than comparing yourself to others or judging others accept that the important thing is for you to be the best you can be
The most effective behaviour that confident people have is to accept that they make mistakes and they won’t always succeed, yet knowing that they still take action
Accept that others may not know about your successes and contributions. That sharing them in a proactive way is not boastful or bragging
Show yourself self-compassion and love, particularly at the times when things have not gone to plan.
Be grateful for all that you have got and achieved and you will feel calm and confident.
Appreciate your achievements. Don’t put your successes down to good luck or that anyone could have done it.
If you can be aware of and work on these 3 A’s of confidence building, you will be well on the way to demonstrating both your confidence and competence at work.
You may also be interested to know that my 1st book ‘Good Enough – A Career Woman’s Guide To Confidence, Courage and Credibility’ will be available for pre-order from March 15th.
You’ll get the opportunity to preorder it and to read about the strategies and mindset shifts you can apply to your career to ensure you have confidence, courage and credibility at work.
In the meantime, if you’d like to have a chat about your specific career or what confidence-building looks like for you. Then do book a free call in on my online calendar at www.speakwithjo.com