22 Apr

Professional Confidence

Do you have the confidence to do your job effectively? In this article we shall be looking at Professional Confidence and its importance. Read on to find out more about what it is and what you can do to improve this skill.

Professional Confidence: what is it?

Professional Confidence is about having the confidence, belief and ability to do your job effectively. In our personal lives, having confidence is a belief in yourself to be able to do things such as interact with people without any problems, and with professional confidence we can apply this to the work place. However, even if you are a socially-confident person, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have professional confidence.

Professional Confidence is about being able to make decisions independently, being open to new approaches and not staying with what you are familiar with. Can you make good decisions by yourself or do you always have to rely on others?

Why is having professional confidence important?

Having professional confidence is especially important if you have a job where you are required to make decisions or give advice to people. In a business situation, it is important to present a good image of your organisation and by demonstrating that you have professional confidence you can project a very positive image. Having professional confidence is not just a question of being aware of your own value as an employee – being aware of and praising the good work of colleagues is also an indicator that you are professionally confident.

How can you show you have this competency?

If you go for an interview and you need to demonstrate this skill, there are a few do’s and don’ts.

Do:

  • Explain how you bring your personal knowledge and skill to your work
  • Talk about situations at work which have been challenging or unpredictable and your re- sponse to them,if the outcome was successful.
  • Be prepared to state how much credit for positive results is due to your work.

Don’t:

  • Speak badly about colleagues
  • Attempt to take all the credit for the success of a team, you will appear to be arrogant.

If you constantly seek the advice of others and are unable to work independently you may need to work on your professional confidence. Let’s now take a look at what you can do about this.

 How to improve this skill

When presented with an unfamiliar task which needs to be done, be prepared to take it on. Don’t be afraid to take risks and if you don’t know something, don’t be afraid to admit it. If you get a question that you cannot answer, simply tell the other person that you cannot give an immediate answer without doing more research. This will gain you more respect. If you try to be over-confident and answer the question without getting your facts right, it may not only make you look incompetent if you are found to be wrong, but you could also end up creating the impression that you are arrogant and untrustworthy.

Start relying on your own judge- ment when making decisions. For example, you decide not to assign someone to a particular task as you feel they are unsuitable for it. If this person is a popular member of the team, you may be faced with some resentment. However, if you are able to treat that person with respect and can explain your reasons, your decision will be respected.

Finally, look at fellow colleagues and the work they do. If they are doing a good job, ask yourself if you can learn from them and be prepared to compliment them on their successes. This shows that you can recognise and appreciate when work is completed in a professional manner.

This article first appeared at www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish and is reprinted with the permission of the British Council

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