How To Communicate Confidence Even When You Don’t Feel It
As the leader, you’re expected to be strong. The face you present to the team must be the best version. The team functions well because they have a strong foundation to stand on. This is you, and more importantly, your vibe. This isn’t hippy nonsense. Another word for it is rapport. For those who don’t know, it’s French and you don’t say the T. Establishing rapport is something that leaders have to do all the time. It signals back to our days in tribes and troops where leaders were asked to do a lot more than have good ideas and firm direction. Weakness can manifest in a number of ways including body language, dress sense, effort, attainment, and communication. Here we will look at some things to look out for that help us to remain on top even if something’s on top of us.
A lot of the time we are not certain. We don’t know what the best thing to do is on immediate hand every time. Who does? It could be a situation between two people or an unhappy customer, an accident, something legalistic, or any number of things. Leaders are the ones who direct the team and establish a course of action. The team looks to the leader to make the first move. What do we do in this case? We have to communicate leadership even when we are looking for leadership ourselves. The important thing to do is remember to not demote yourself to the same social rank as your team psychologically. It can be difficult at first but learning to remain in leadership mode when you’re not feeling it will inspire your team to have amazing confidence in you.
You have to say something. Standing there with your mouth open or just making a hmm noise and walking off to your office will not help your team. They want to help you, and you are expected to instigate this. Saying nothing is paramount to doing nothing in their eyes. If you go to your office and close the door they probably half expect you to be burying your head. It’s what they would probably do. You’re different, you take charge.
Take responsibility. It’s no good looking to the person giving you the news with stern eyes or suggesting that someone else ought to have done a better job. The facts are given to you in good faith with equal care for their repercussions. You have to take responsibility and look at the way to progress. There might well be things that could have been done differently, and that’s something for discussion, however, measuring the response has to take priority.
Forget about direct blame. So someone’s broken the rules and that’s their choice. You have to deal with it. Or someone’s made a bad decision without asking, you have to deal with it. It doesn’t help to use emotions and anger to fuel opinions about the quality of other people’s work. We all have a contract and are expected to follow it. It’s not their fault, and you have to address the issue at the point. A calm and well-mannered direction of instruction and decision making based on established facts with the person causing the issue is all you need.
It matters to them so it matters to you. We’re not all the same and sometimes we don’t know what the issue is. Other people have an issue, though, and they’re asking you to act on it. Other times we have differences in opinions about the way things should be and the person with the issue wants them to be different. You still have to appreciate their problem and counter it with your feelings about why things are done another way. Ignoring their problems or dismissing them as not relevant, can lead to more frustration than if you were to simply accept them and explain why things are how they are. It might even be possible to work the functioning of the team in order to reduce the issue without compromising on your brand.
Let others take the lead when they offer to. It might turn out that the other person has experience where you don’t and they can solve a problem in a good way. Let them get on with it, talk to them about their solution, and give them the green light even if you’re unsure. Let people make their own decisions and find their own ways around particular problems. If you rewrite their initiative with your own shots in the dark then it might just make you look like a control freak.
Do it now. Putting it off is only going to exaggerate the problems. You have to address them immediately to some degree and make continual progress until they’re solved. It’s true that you likely have a list of jobs and routines that you are in the middle of, however, a leader is not there to tick lists and carry out routine operations. That’s what you do after you’ve done the leadership bit.
Be in a good mood every day. Leaders have to be able to take charge of their own emotions before they can take charge of other people. Our thoughts define how we feel above the subconscious background noise. If this background noise is particularly negative then it will be a real challenge to rise above it. This is what depression is. This must be conquered in mind before you take on the leadership role. The negative thoughts that put you in a low mood are addictive and frightening to challenge. It must be done one day at a time until you are able to meet your team with an uplifting and positive attitude each day.