Confidence 'is essential for business leaders'

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Confidence can be crucial to successful business leaders

Company leaders need to stand tall and be confident in their own abilities, as this is a trait that helps to set the best in the world of business apart from the rest.

This is the sentiment of Shaun Thomson, chief executive officer (CEO) of Sandler Training (UK), who stated in an interview for the Guardian that increasing one's own level of confidence can ultimately make all the difference in deciding whether those starting a new company will succeed or not.

He argued that the first thing business leaders need to do is understand that confidence is a frame of mind. It is the outward projection of how we want others to see us and by improving in this area, individuals can inspire others to be their best.

Confidence is not anything to do with self-esteem - some of the most confident people in the world might have niggling doubts about their own abilities - but what matters is the impression that great confidence leaves in others, as this can play a crucial role in success.

Indeed, Mr Thomson suggested that greater confidence can help to get staff more engaged with a company's goals, while also reassuring workers that those leading the business know what they are doing.

As such, taking the time to boost levels of confidence for company managers, directors and CEOs can be time well spent, leading to a stronger sense of wellbeing at every level of a business.

People need to be aware though that changing their behaviour is never easy, ingrained traits or self-doubt can be hard to shift and so taking a proactive approach to boosting confidence is essential for those keen to make progress in this area.

There are simple steps that can help though, Mr Thomson advised: "Whether in front of a mirror or role-playing with a colleague, practising a scenario that usually makes you feel unconfident is another great way to help you see how easily you can change your mindset."

Developing assertiveness is also essential in terms of projecting an air of confidence and this can be as easy as taking the lead on issues, rather than sitting back and waiting for others to make the first move or to come up with solutions.

When individuals lack in confidence they can often, either consciously or unconsciously, ignore those social cues to contribute that crop up during every interaction between two or more people.

However, when it comes to boosting confidence it is important for company leaders to make an effort not to let this happen. By contributing in a positive manner, this can help to reinforce and build upon a growing sense of confidence, while also helping to bolster productivity by making sure things are getting done.

Mr Thomson concluded that, ultimately, building confidence is all about putting oneself forward and believing that what you to say has merit.

"Confidence itself may not feel like a tangible concept - but once it's improved, your success in business will improve no end," he argued.