Use Clarity to Build Confidence

We all want the feelings of self-assurance, self-reliance, and “having it all together” at work and in life. But sometimes we fall short. We all suffer at times from nagging feelings of doubt and/or uncertainty.

We admire people who speak and act confidently. And it’s often true that confident people are reinforced by others. So, how can we increase our confidence?

One answer is to increase our clarity.

Here are nine areas where you can project clarity, which will increase your confidence:

Clarity

Question – Request additional information anytime something doesn’t make sense. Chances are if you don’t understand something, you are not alone.

Simplify – Ask others to streamline their messages where possible, and do the same where you can. Overly complicated explanations don’t help anyone.

Synthesize – Combine different elements of a topic in a way that is helpful and meaningful to you. Seeing how the pieces fit together can help you focus on the whole rather than the parts.

Summarize – Condense ideas or concepts into their essential elements. A shorter message is easier to retain and share with others.

Define a course of action – Develop a plan to actualize your ideas and include others as you do it. By translating words into deeds you’ll reinforce the direction you have chosen.

Communicate – Establish a shared understanding. Remember that what one person may say isn’t necessarily what another person may hear. Make sure you understand, and are understood.

Anticipate change – Expect to make adjustments. What may be clear at one moment may quickly become murky as things evolve.

Check back – Ensure continual conversation with all groups. As things evolve, include all stake owners to make sure shared understanding continues.

Clarify your values – Spell out what’s most important to you. You will be a more effective messenger when you are sure about what you stand for.

Act on your values – Walk your talk. When what you do and say aligns with who you are, others will feel your authenticity, which will help them see you as someone they can trust.

Leaders at all levels are more effective—and happier—when they operate with confidence. Increasing clarity offers a useful path to help get there, and stay there, more often.