The more confident you are going into an interaction with a new group of people, the more competent you’ll appear to the others in the group, according to research by professors at Columbia Business School and New York University.
But what if you aren’t confident at all? That’s a common problem, and research has also found a way to take care of it.
If you’re feeling bogged down by insecurity and self-doubt, write two paragraphs outlining your goals, suggests Gavin Kilduff, an assistant professor at New York University. This simple exercise helps build confidence and excitement.
Projecting confidence can be critical to your professional success, says Piera Palazzolo, a vice president, Dale Carnegie Training. She offers four additional tips to help you feel and act confident with new groups.
- Do your homework. “Confidence comes from knowing you’ve done your homework. You have to come into a group like you own it.”
- Look the way you want to feel. Dress in neat, professional attire. Stand up straight and make good eye contact.
- Ask questions. This demonstrates you care about other people. “The more natural you can be, the more sincere you come across.”
- Use inclusive language. Using highly technical terms and business jargon doesn’t make you look smart and confident. It makes you look like a snob and alienates others.
— Adapted from “On the job: write down your goals; gain confidence,” Anita Bruzzese, USA Today.