Confidence is something that grows the more you do something, and the older you get. It's something that can be learned over a period of time and testing; and it's something that is vital to develop for the health of your career. Clients will quickly be able to tell if you are unsure of something and they will likely pounce on it, therefore the ability to act confidently (even if you don't feel particularly confident) is a handy skill to possess.
Confident people may seem to have all the ‘luck’, whereas in reality confidence is a key to success. If you have an assured outlook on life you'll have a higher chance of:
- Getting a promotion.
- Getting a pay rise.
- Closing the deal.
- Being less-stressed.
- Being a better problem-solver.
- Getting things done.
- Negotiating a better outcome.
- Building strong relationships; and
- Opening doors to career opportunities.
Why? Because you are confident in yourself that you can do it!
As a successful account manager you do not have to be a bouncing-off-the-walls extrovert, but you do need to exude an air of self-assurance - for your own benefit and to build a deeper level of trust with your clients.
Confidence and competence are very closely linked. The degree of confidence that you feel and show to the world will affect your level of competency. Confidence is what will give you the courage to act on your competent thoughts.
The opposite of confidence is fear. Fear can be crippling and can strike any account manager at any stage - junior through to senior. Episodes of confidence-crisis will occur less the older you get, but they will still arise - especially when you are in a new environment, tackling an unfamiliar challenge, or struck with ‘imposter syndrome’ (the feeling that you are punching above your weight). Don't worry, there are ways to help yourself grow in confidence…and competence.
Own it (whatever ‘it’ is). No apologies; no explanation required.
Just be you. Don't ever pretend to be someone or something that you're not.
Always use positive language. Positivity builds you and your confidence up, while negativity will tear you down. Aim skyward.
Never be self-deprecating. Self-talk can change your life (for good or bad). You'll ultimately become what you think and say about yourself.
Ask lots of questions. Knowledge is powerful. If you are ever unsure of what to do, just ask.
Focus on your successes. You've done it before, you can do it again.
Accept that everyone makes mistakes. As long as you learn from your mistakes, and move forward, you'll feel more confident to take risks and accept new responsibilities.
Learn what you don't know. Fear often results from a lack of knowledge. Confidence will grow once you fill in your knowledge-gaps and feel the fear melting away.
Look the part. What you wear, your hair and makeup, your posture, and your body language all impact your level of confidence.
Have fun. Learn to laugh at your setbacks and mistakes. Being more light-hearted will boost your confidence.
Smile. Happiness is synonymous with confidence.
Associate with positive, driven people (and avoid those who are not). Confidence is contagious.
Sarah Ritchie is the founder of AM-Insider - a website bursting with tips, tricks and resources to create account management superstars in the advertising, design, PR, experiential and print industries. Sarah has been involved in account management for 25 years and has a passion for encouraging, mentoring and helping others succeed.
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