Speak with Greater Confidence

An article in Nature Neuroscience led by Benedetto De Martino, a cognitive neuroscientist in the field of decision-making and neuroeconomics, states that the brain has direct links between knowing what you want and the ability to express it. His research demonstrated that the more confidence a person had in his or her ideas, the more likely they were to maintain those beliefs over time. ­These deep-seated principles led to a capacity to speak with greater conviction.

Conviction and confidence in how you communicate do not guarantee success. But a lack of it almost always guarantees failure – especially when it comes to leadership. It’s a personal and deep-seated belief that compels individuals to move forward in spite of doubt and cynicism. Conviction drives decision making, promises action, tolerates risk, and overcomes doubt. It doesn’t always happen immediately but progresses over time through both positive and negative experiences.

Conviction Puts Others at Ease

As leaders, when we’re confident in our ideas, it allows others to choose to have confidence in those ideas as well.  Your conviction is an invitation for those around you to “buy-in” and gets on board.  This is an invaluable asset in the business world.  As Travis Bradberry, a leadership expert and co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0. said, “In business, things change so quickly that there’s a great deal of uncertainty about what’s going to happen next month, let alone next year. Leaders with conviction create an environment of certainty for everyone.”

When individuals feel at ease, and more certain about what they are doing, they perform better.  When they perform better, the whole team benefits.  There is power in the confidence we can provide to others; however, use that confidence judiciously and in the right words.

Consider the following when working on speaking with greater confidence and conviction:

  • Know how you truly feel about an idea or position. Take the time to work through different concepts before presenting those ideas to those around you.  Do your research and really understand why you feel the way you do.
  • Avoid “filler” or empty words that don’t communicate anything. Filler words distract from messages and cause uncertainty.
  • Always consider your audience. What’s motivating them? What are they most likely concerned with?  The more you seek to understand those you are communicating with, the more successful you’ll be in crafting how to deliver your thoughts.
  • Don’t be afraid of incorporating emotion. We are not only thinking beings but first and foremost feeling beings who need connection.
  • When you speak, choose your words carefully. Our words won’t always be interpreted as we intend – a reality that has resulted in disastrous results for some.

While conviction can cause self-inflicted harm and ruin a company, it is also an essential ingredient to effective leadership and disrupting the status quo. Don’t fear it. Use it as a tool for self-improvement and professional development. Learn more by visiting www.chuckgarcia.com