Confidence – Fake it until we make it
Leah Fogliani reported in The Western Australian today that research from the University of California shows that people who portray themselves as confident have more influence and credibility in the workplace. People who have self belief were seen as more competent and were able to influence in organisations.
People who spoke with a confident tone and answered questions with confidence were seen as more convincing. What was also interesting is the importance of posture in creating confidence. In my Assertive Communication workshops I always spend time focusing on posture and breathing as it plays a big part in creating a confident and assertive message. If we respond to a situation with a clear statement but then we have a poor posture and a timid tone our credibility will be lost.
Leah Fogliani made the comment that crossed arms is a rapport breaker because people will interpret us as being closed. Research now shows that power poses are real. Taking up more space or having an open posture creates physiological, psychological and behavioral changes. Research from a 2010 Columbia and Harvard study, showed that both men and women experience increased testosterone and a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol. The study also found increased feelings of power and confidence. This research supports Amy Cuddy’s research that we can “fake it til we make it” . In other words we can improve our as confidence by making some simple changes to our posture and non verbal communication. This will increase our performance in job interviews, public speaking and when we are dealing with difficult situations where we need to be confident and credible.
It is important when we want to come over as confident and credible to be aware of our breathing and our posture. We need to focus on getting rid of the slouching shoulders. When we have an upright posture and use a confident tone we are going to be seen as credible.
So be aware of your body language, your posture, your voice and other non verbals and learn to fake that confidence, even if you are a little nevous. This is one case when you can fake to you make it.