The Confidence Factor: What I Learned About Agency Life in the 7th Grade
Last week, we had employee reviews at BlissPR. In roughly half the meetings, the discussion eventually turned to “self-confidence.” While confidence (without substance) is hollow, it can be a game-changer, when combined with smarts, hard-work and skill. Confident professionals send a silent message that they are open to possibilities. They are more likely to invite and consider alternative points-of-view. They tackle obstacles and welcome new challenges.
When I was in seventh grade, my history teacher told our class that the biggest consistent difference among students in his honors, average-track and remedial classes was self-confidence. “I assign the same books and assignment to students in each section,” Mr. Sachsel observed. “The honors students look at the assignment and say: ‘I’m not sure how to approach this yet, but I know I can do something remarkable. I can’t wait to get started.’ The average-track students worry that they won’t do a good job and procrastinate until the 11th hour. The remedial students assume defeat before they ever start. “
We all know that confidence matters greatly in externally-facing positions. It’s essential for sales, public speaking and senior leadership. But confidence is also important in internally-facing positions – especially in marketing and PR, where assignments require persuasion, creativity, relationship-building and persistence. Confidence motivates professionals to start projects earlier and push toward exceptional results. It inspires clients to trust you with challenging assignments. It encourages managers to hold you to high standards.
As you think about professional development goals for the year ahead, where does confidence fall on your list? What are you doing to help co-workers and supervisees strengthen their belief that success is within reach?
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