For many of us young working adults in Singapore, facing difficult situations at work is near part and parcel of life. Granted social situations are unique to one’s industry and job position, there are certain common social skills and tips that can be practiced in any situation. So with that, through this article, we’ll be talking about the 4 Crucial tips to being confident in any situation at work.
Have A Relaxed Body Language
Body language speaks volumes, a study done by Dr. Albert Mehrabian on the science behind social interactions breakdowns human communication into 7 percent spoken words, 38 percent tone of voice, and 55 percent body language. This shows that nonverbal communications far dominate verbal communications. With that there are a few body language tricks you could pick up to tweak how you carry yourself in social situations.
- Spread yourself out
Spreading yourself out actually causes you to naturally relax. Next time when talking to someone, try having your feet atleast shoulder width apart when standing, or having your arm draped over a chair when sitting.
- Move freely and comfortably
Let off the tension and move freely and comfortably. This signals to people and to yourself a sense of comfort and ownership at any work environment you’re in. Now this doesn’t mean to overstep your boundaries and act like the boss.
- Practice selective eye contact
Now this tip is tricky and while very effective, it can also rub your work colleges off the wrong way. When in social situations with more than one person, such a business meeting or chit chat over a meal, try appearing slightly aloof when someone is talking to you. And when you notice that the person is trying harder to grab your attention, you zone in and give them your undivided attention during times when you have to stress a point. The key to this social tip is not to ignore people when they’re talking to you, but to hone and and keep people captivated when you’re speaking and emphasizing your most important points.
How often do you see someone overeact to a situation, it could be a work colleague, a client or even you. As you would guess, overreacting to a situation isn’t the best approach to social situations. While it is perfectly understandable to get upset. It is almost always detrimental to the situation.
Always approach a situation calm and composed. A good skill to practice is to slow things down to your pace. Give yourself time to think and gather your thoughts before speaking, especially when things are going south. Next time during a business meeting when you are called up to explain mistakes, try to stay silent and take time before speaking.
As oppose to just blurting out speedy replies and excuses, remaining composed not only gives you time to think of your replies, it also prevent exposing yourself as lost or confused. As a generally rule, we’re more demanding of fast responses from ourselves than we are from others. Studies show that people give themselves 30% of the time they’d give to others to respond. Which is exactly why so many of us find it excrutiating to pause during public speaking.
So when you’re in a stressful social situation and it feels as though you have to do sometime immediately. Take a step back and pause. You’re almost always better served from a presentation perspective and a decision making perspective to take a deep breath and slow down. Otherwise you’re going to look frantic and lacking of self control.
Stop Self Sabotage
Before we get into how self-sabotage is extremely detrimental to building self confidence, we have to understand what it is. Self-sabotage is when you find yourself doing something that gets in the way of achieving greater goals and dreams. It is a defense mechanism that prevents from experiencing something that might hurt us. Most common fears that working adults in Singapore have is the fear of failure after taking on more responsibilities. This fear debilitates confidence in ourselves and more importantly, restricts us from achieving more in our lives.
Here are some common behaviours or acts of self-sabotage:
- Procrastinating on important task
- Having an imposter syndrome
- Unwillingness to let go of past mistakes
- Comparing yourself to others
These are just a few common behaviours, I’ve written another article on the reasons why you’re self-sabotaging yourself at work and how to stop it. So how do you get rid of self-sabotage and start building self-confidence? Start by defining your limiting beliefs, such as the areas of your work profession that you identified that you feel fearful of.
It could be holding back on a promotion because you’re afraid of stepping on your colleagues toes, or refusing to expand your skill set in fear of making mistakes on the job. Next you’ll need to find real life examples of people that have taken the next step in that direction. A senior work colleague for example that recently got promoted and seem happy or satisfied with his/her workload. The trick is to do away with the “what if” and doubts and understand that most of time reality isn’t going to be as bad as your imagination. You’ll then find it much easy to build self-confidence.
Be comfortable with conflict.
Lets face it, conflicts at the workplace happens on the time. Disagreements between your co-worker or clients while ideally should be kept professional, sometimes escalate beyond reason. While there are ways to avoid conflict; being more agreeable and compromising will definitely help to minimise.
You’ll ultimately turn into a people pleaser, someone who doesn’t express his/her opinion in fear of offending. At CharismaWithAlvin while we encourage you to develop more socially-ept characteristics, there are some principles that we need to stick by. And that is to not become a pushover. There is a big difference between being liked and being respected. And being respected will go a long way in becoming confident.
And if you want to be confident in both your professional and personal life in Singapore, you need to be willing to engage with conflict.
Here are 2 tips to get comfortable with conflict:
1. Embrace difficult work situations
Stop avoiding situations that you afraid of handling. The sooner you get used to facing difficult situations, the less intimidating they’ll be.
2. Find compassionate curiosity
Compassionate curiosity fosters a genuine desire to understand that is tempered with empathy and respect. Approaching conflicts this way naturally allows you to shift your focus from working against the other party and the situation, to working with the other party to solve the situation.
Gaining confidence to deal with all sorts of situations at the workplace is no easy task especially when you’re someone who isn’t comfortable with social situations. It’ll take some time and constant practice for you to see result.
By practicing these interpersonal skills and tips you’ll efficiently learn how to carry yourself better and improve your confidence in both your work and private life. If you want to read up on more skills and tips to help you in developing crucial soft skills than browse some more of articles here.