Show Confidence Under Pressure

I was recently in a doctor’s office explaining my symptoms, when I noticed that he was growing more and more anxious, the more I explained. It’s not as if he was a newbie, I’d seen this doctor for years and I knew that he’d been in the profession for decades. His hands were fidgeting, he was murmuring things like ‘erm’, ‘this doesn’t make sense’, ‘but this medication is the same as <insert big doctor word>…’. Overall it was clear that he wasn’t confident in whatever his diagnosis/prescription/suggestion was going to be.

His lack of confidence made me very nervous and uncomfortable. If a man of his expertise and experience didn’t know what was happening with my health, what hope did I have?

Reflecting later that night, I realised that revealinlack of confidence can have a negative effect on our interactions in any part of life — be it professional or personal.

People engage us and customers pay us to get things done and solve problems. By portraying a lack of confidence, we only unnecessarily burden them emotionally. Even if you solve the problem, if you’ve left them nervous temporarily while you murmur away negative thoughts, they’ve had a negative experience with you and will lose confidence themselves that you know what you’re doing. Perhaps they think that you only solved it by chance and you’re not the best person to help out next time.

This isn’t to say fake it, lie and pretend to know what you’re talking about. If you don’t know something, simply let them know that it’s not in your realm of expertise, but you’ll find out who is best to consult on that topic or simply that you’ll do some research and report back. This is better than — ”ugh well, I think I heard that, um Google now, um reads keywords, from um…”.

Shouldn’t our desire be to leave people with great memories of their interaction with us? Do your best to portray that you’ve got a handle on each situation. Exude confidence.