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Convey Self Confidence - Gain Respect

Author : Ian Russell

Submitted : 2009-11-03 10:49:29    Word Count : 716    Popularity:   218

Tags:   confidence, gain respect, working relationships, success at work

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Has anyone ever said to you... push your shoulders back, puff your chest out, get your chin up Ė if so you have heard a few of the popular expressions people use to stimulate someone into making a good impression. These expressions indicate how important our bearing and body language are in imparting who we are to the world. If you are fortunate enough to have been brought up in a family with the means to enrol you in deportment and elocution lessons, these would have taught you how to carry yourself with elegance and poise thereby conveying an air of self-confidence to those around you. It is more likely, however, that the majority of readers, and indeed the writer, did not reap the benefits of lessons in etiquette. While you donít have to speak like Queen Elizabeth to convey confidence, body language and intonation is important and here is why.

There is a lot of truth in the old saying that first impressions count. In fact, within just 5 seconds of meeting someone we will already have formed a judgement that will affect our behaviour towards them. It definitely isnít easy getting ourselves noticed in this hectic modern world and when this is applied to a job market which is progressively more competitive, making the right impression can make or break your chances of having a successful interview or business deal.

Where to start? In a moment we will look at what not to do, but firstly letís make ourselves aware that self-confidence is a form of strength and that is why it is so attractive to others. Bearing that in mind, try to portray yourself in a way that avoids you looking inhibited or vulnerable. Some examples of this type of body language are: hanging your head, slouching your shoulders, or avoiding direct eye contact. These particular actions imply to others that you have a problem with self-belief. Whether itís for an interview or a business deal, you donít have to be Einstein to see that people wonít believe in you as an Ďinvestmentí if the investment does not believe in itself. Correspondingly, in your personal life people will immediately pick up on the signals you give. Given that, what should be your plan of action?

The opposite of the examples given above should be first on the list - holding your head high and standing with your shoulders back are both confident gestures. But the most important signal of them all is eye contact. Maintaining eye contact while speaking and listening generates a sense of familiarity, resolve and sincerity between yourself and the other person. If I told you that a recent survey asked a group of venture capitalists what they looked for in a successful pitch and that the top answer mostly came back as eye contact, would you then take it seriously?

In order to install it as a natural aspect of your personality you will need to maintain an air of confidence at all times. This applies in every situation whether easy or stressful. It is a popular belief that you see the true measure of someone when the chips are down and in my own experience I have found that is usually the case. In stressful situations some people panic and rather than looking for a solution to the problem in a rational and composed way they will blame others and look for the easy way out. To be an effective leader who commands respect from their inferiors you must deal with stress in a positive and confident manner, if you canít do this then perhaps being at the front is not for you. By remaining calm under pressure you are far more likely to project the right image to others.

What you display neednít necessarily be the same as what you feel - even if your apparent demeanour is not a true reflection of what is going on inside, you will still convey the appropriate signals to encourage those around you. That is the remarkable thing about confident body language. All it takes is a simple gesture to inspire confidence and respect in those around you.

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