Communicating with confidence is being able to express yourself and articulate how you feel, positive or negative, in a respectful and loving manner. A tall order? Not if your communication is grounded in a healthy self-confidence, which is built on self-esteem and self-respect. When there is fear of judgment or embarrassment you won’t be able to communicate confidently.
A good place to start is by boosting your self-esteem. You need to recognise your own innate value and positivity but also the good wishes you have for others. Be mindful of your self-talk too, is it for or against you? Do you beat yourself up or do you say, ‘OK, it didn’t go as brilliantly as I hoped, but that’s OK. This is where I am today, and I know I did my best. Next time will be better.’
Check: How clear are you about what you want to say? What is the heart of your message? What’s the value of what you want to communicate? Shift your focus from worrying about what others will think, to the benefits of what we’re communicating.
Remember, it’s estimated that about 93% of what we communicate is non-verbal. 55% is our body language (facial expressions, gestures, posture and eye contact), 38% is our vocal qualities (tone, pitch, speed and volume). So do your best to sit or stand confidently and smile – even for phone meetings!
At some point we all have to give negative feedback. It’s essential to be honest with yourself, and ask ‘Why am I doing this?’, ‘Is it really for their benefit?’ If the answer is yes, then communicate your feedback respectfully. When we do so, the other person is much more likely to listen and benefit from what we say. A good tip is, begin with seeing their good qualities and what they do well.
A final thought. The more aligned we are in our thinking, speaking and doing the more we will naturally communicate with confidence. Others see that we are genuine and that we are coming from a place of authenticity.