Confidence is a powerful trait. Confidence can make you successful. Confident people are like magnets…they tend to capture the attention, trust and respect of those around them. They believe they can do it, so they take risks and reap the rewards. It’s reassuring to work with someone who shows confidence in his work and his ability to get the job done and done well. And confidence can be contagious — we all want to surround ourselves with self-assured people who make us feel like we can do it, too.
But there is a thin line between being confident and being arrogant. No one likes a know-it-all, or someone who doesn’t listen because they believe they have nothing to learn. If you display arrogance, you may turn people off, lose potential opportunities and hurt your reputation. Not to mention it can be a lonely way to live. So here are some ways to maximize your confidence without encroaching into arrogance territory.
1. Be Approachable
Having confidence doesn’t do you any good if you become standoffish or unfriendly because of it. You want to be able to enhance and develop relationships, not make people view you guardedly. You can make yourself more approachable by making eye contact and using confident body language that invites conversation.
In social settings, introduce yourself, offer a firm (but not too strong) handshake, and remember to use others’ names as you chat. In social networking situations, engage in conversations – both personal and business-related – to show your personality and give people a way to relate to you.
2. Be Sincere
Arrogant people either rarely offer compliments or do so in a way that feels forced and artificial, and it can almost undermine the success of the other person. Make a point to frequently and genuinely acknowledge the hard work and successes of those around you, even those who you may consider competition.
When engaged in daily conversations, listen well and focus on developing relationships. Avoid saying what you think the other person wants to hear and instead wait until you feel moved to offer an authentic and personal comment.
3. Be Humble
Modesty and confidence work exceptionally well together in the battle against arrogance. To be considered confident without arrogance, act with humility when you are recognized for a job well done, and be accountable for your role in any errors that transpire.
If you are part of a team that reaches success, take time to share the praise, give credit, and point out the contributions of others. We rarely reach success without support from someone else, and acknowledging the role others have played in our accomplishments is a great way to display confidence without arrogance.
4. Be Wrong
Arrogance almost always comes with a perpetual belief that you are right, while confidence balances your ability to listen and learn from those around you. While it may seem that admitting uncertainty can chip away at your level of confidence, the opposite is true. Being clear about what you know and what you don’t know can be liberating, and it’s usually appreciated by others.
5. Be Forthcoming
You’re confident because you’re good at what you do. Instead of sitting on a pedestal with your knowledge in your pocket, share it. Speak at conferences, write a blog, and talk to your colleagues to impart some of the wisdom you have gained.
Having a collaborative attitude can prevent you from every being tagged as arrogant and it can open the door to new relationships and opportunities.
Do you know someone who is confident but borders on arrogance? What would you suggest they do to rid themselves of the overconfidence?