In a recent column on LinkedIn, Darmesh Shah listed the qualities he feels confident people possess. They were almost universally the last ones you’d expect, if your picture of confidence was informed by movies and TV.
Thanks to popular culture, we have a very clear (and very wrong) idea of what confidence looks like: it’s the corporate shark who exudes bravado, and doesn’t have time for the ideas and concerns of the little people surrounding him.
“First things first: Confidence is not bravado, or swagger, or an overt pretense of bravery. Confidence is not some bold or brash air of self-belief directed at others,” Shah writes. “Confidence is quiet: It’s a natural expression of ability, expertise, and self-regard.”
Other expressions of confidence, according to Shah:
1. They listen 10 times more than they speak.
Confident people don’t brag. They don’t showboat. They ask thoughtful questions and care about the answers. They genuinely want input.
2. They ask for help.
The truly confident don’t think that asking for help is tantamount to saying they don’t know what they’re doing … although they wouldn’t be afraid to do that, either.
3. They seek approval, but only from people who matter.
Confident people don’t care if the whole internet loves what they’re doing. (And a good thing it is, too, since the whole internet has never loved anything, except possibly pictures of cats.) Confident people have a few trustworthy folks in their real lives, and value those people’s opinions highly. They don’t spend time worrying about the judgment of the anonymous millions.
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