How many times have you heard "confidence is key"?

There's no denying that confidence is essential to effective leadership. As a leader, you must present yourself as someone others can rely on and learn from.

Greta Thunberg holding a school strike for climate

Take Greta Thunberg!

She stands up to adults twice her age and big business in pursuit of climate activism. Her confident leadership has mobilized millions of people to take action.

With practice, communicating confident leadership will allow you to:

  • build more effective relationships

  • enhance your skills and abilities

  • bring out the best in those around you

Flex Your Confidence Muscle

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Myth

Confidence is something you are born with.

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Reality

Confidence is something you continually develop.

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Think of confidence like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the more you can develop it!

Greta Thunberg passing a microphone away from herIn her early days of activism, Greta Thunberg was often described as shy and reserved in the face of the media.

Greta Thunberg giving a speech at the UN, saying Years later, she delivered a passionate speech for the UN Climate Action Summit to millions of people. Talk about a muscle flex!

Be An Active Listener

Part of conveying confident leadership is making others feel heard. Ensuring those around you feel understood will establish a foundation of trust and respect as a leader.

You can be an active listener by...

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  • Demonstrating concern

  • Asking specific questions

  • Using verbal affirmations

Quiz

Which is an example of active listening?

Paraphrasing what someone says

Remaining silent

Giving advice

Changing the subject

Cool As A Cucumber

Confident leaders don't always feel confident. Especially when things are...not so perfect.

Lisa Simpson GIF

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In times of pressure DO:

  • Plan out your course of action — this will help you confidently and calmly lead others through challenges.

  • Own up to your mistakes — you exude confidence when you take responsibility for your own limitations as a leader.

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In times of pressure DON'T:

  • Be reactive — a lack of thoughtfulness in your response can lead to unfounded accusations and unproductive leadership.

  • Shy away from the issue — this delays decision making and undermines your capacity to lead.

Quiz

Naomi's company has encountered a legal crisis. How should they first proceed?

Vent to the senior staff

Consider all approaches before acting

Take the day off

Send out a mass email immediately

Know Thyself

Confident leaders are open to learning from others. They aren't threatened by ideas different from their own.

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You convey confident leadership by identifying your strengths and weaknesses and admitting you don't have all the answers. This aligns with "authentic leadership" — or being the best version of yourself.

Naomi Osaka looking confident on a tennis court

Naomi Osaka — ranked No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association — showed authentic leadershipwhen she refused to attend a mandatory press conference, and later pulled out of Wimbledon 2021 for personal time.

Her authenticity and openness about her battle with depression helped break down the stigma of mental health and inspired other athletes to follow her lead.

Take Action

Developing your confidence as a leader is a work in progress. What better time to improve this skill than now?

Photo by Leon on UnsplashPhoto by Leon on Unsplash

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This Byte has been authored by

SU

Sam Udeschini

Educator | Learning Consultant