How to be more Confident

Fake it.

Yes, pretend.

There are three benefits that grow from you “acting” confident:

  • Attitude follows Behavior: Over time, you become more like you act—self-assured, confident, and convinced of the truth of what you are saying.
  • Emotional Contagion: Walk down an airport corridor and smile, and watch people smile back; change your facial expression to a frown, and you will be met with frowns. Act confident, people respond with confidence in you.
  • Self-Reinforcing Emotions: if you smile and then others smile, you are more likely to feel happy and smile. You may have to act confident and knowledgeable at first, but as others “catch” that feeling, it will be reflected back, making you more confident.
The research is laid out in detail in “Power: Why Some People Have It—And Others Don’t” by Jeffrey Pfeffer.  Pfeffer says that in order to be Powerful it is vital that you appear Powerful.  In the words of Peter Ueberroth: “Authority is 20 percent given, 80 percent taken.” 

Try acting confident for an hour.  How does it feel?  How do people respond?  Try smiling.  Do people respond with smiles?  How do you feel?  Have a great weekend.

    What makes you a Well-Paid Expert?

    This is relevant for anyone who communicates regularly from a position of authority – doctors, scientists, professors…

    3 Types of Experts

    I have had several people who have expertise say to me “but I haven’t been successful myself”.  Toni Nadal isn’t better at tennis than Rafa, but he knows how to get results. Michael Porter hasn’t run a business, but he has spent a lifetime interviewing people that have.  There are 3 types of experts:

    1. The Result Expert – Proven ability to get specific results for others
    2. The Research Expert – Has interviewed performers and has a deep knowledge of tools, strategies and tactics in an area
    3. The Role Model – Has been successful

    Tim Ferriss has an interesting perspective: “you can learn more from the person who shouldn’t be good, but is than from the person who is naturally excellent.”  Roger Federer has every natural gift to be a top tennis player.  Rafa Nadal had to really fight to become number 1.  Most of us can learn more from Rafa’s approach than we could learn by understanding Federer.

    Four Actions of Experts

    There are four things that the best experts do:

    1. Choose mastery.  Choose continuous learning. Choose to read, to review, to focus intensely on a continuous process of learning and growing in the specific field in which they are experts.  Go deep rather than go broad.
    2. Regularly interview other experts looking for patterns and best practice.
    3. Create arguments based on four parts:
      1. What we should be paying attention to
      2. What things mean
      3. How things work
      4. What might happen
    4. Simplify complex ideas with frameworks

    Four Actions of Wealthy Experts

    There are four further things that can differentiate the wealthy expert from the plain expert:

    1. Package their knowledge: Write, speak, record – put knowledge into a form that people are willing to purchase
    2. Campaign vs Promote their knowledge – each interaction leads to a further interaction
    3. Charge expert fees – charge more than you are comfortable with
    4. Focus on:
      1. Distinction – Keep studying the competition and keep innovating
      2. Excellence – Be better
      3. Service – Be helpful and responsive

    These 8 actions come from this video from Brandon Burchard.  Brandon helps others become well-paid experts.

    I like his explanation of what differentiates a true expert from non-experts.

    I will finish with a thought from Charles Handy, the Irish business philosopher who was one of the founders of London Business School.

    “The aim of education is to give someone the self belief that enables them to take charge of their own life.” Charles Handy

    This is the true aim of any expert.

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