How to Manage More Confidently

By Carole Burman, MD of MAD-HR

Published in Suffolk Director business magazine 2018

“Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right”

A successful business leader knows that to maintain growth and increase profit levels, it is vital for their team to feel empowered. A confident workforce will perform to their very best, embracing challenges to allow them to achieve their goals.
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How to Manage More Confidently

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However, what can often happen is that senior managers and business owners find it easier to focus on empowering and developing their teams, rather than considering their own needs.

A director may be considered an expert but still lacks confidence in performing the tasks needed for a senior role. Tasks such as presentations, public speaking, employee relations and recruitment, can leave the most successful business leader quivering with fear.

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.

So, here are five tips to help improve your confidence and develop the skills you need to face those challenges.

1. Undergo Training

It is vital to keep your skills up to date; after all, how can you take your organisation forward if you are out of touch? Your team will be impressed if you show you are keen to learn and develop. Lead by example and get yourself booked on.

2. Get Someone to Mentor You

Mentoring is a great way of gaining peer support to help you develop ideas and improve your skills. It is often “lonely at the top” and having a mentor can provide invaluable support. Mentors can be from different industries or sectors, even from different countries. The trick is to find someone who you trust, who has the time and willingness to commit and can support you to develop.

3. Get Support from a Professional

Having an expert in the background who provides you with the intelligence and information you need, can boost confidence. Knowing that you have your facts straight before going out there means there is no concern about being caught out, or making an error, leaving you to concentrate purely on delivery.

4. Get Networking!

Business groups like the local Chamber of Commerce is a good place to start, although there will be a wealth of groups in the area to suit all needs and industries. When at their networking events, often there is the opportunity to present in a timed slot under the guise of “expert”, giving you a reasonably safe environment to practice your presentation skills, and public speaking. 

5. Work on Yourself, Not Just Your Business

Bill Gates is reported to read 50 self-development books a year. There are a lot of books out there which can help you develop your confidence, whether generally or in specific areas, and never underestimate what a difference it can make. Two of my favourites are “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey and “The Present” by Spencer Johnson.

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