Charisma Work Out: # 11: Confidence and personal impact

Work Out 11One the largest global banks employs over 30,000 compliance officers.

All the people are there to help their organization play by the rules and act responsibly. What do all they have in common?

Like many others in diverse financial and non-financial services, they all need to develop enough self-confidence to talk about ethics, to promote ethical behavior, and give informed guidance about it.

Nor are they alone.

Their leaders too need sufficient self-assurance to talk with conviction about ethical behavior. Not in a mechanical way. Instead, they must be able to convey a degree of certainty and to win influence in the area of ethics and what it means to act responsibly.

Expertise can certainly help achieve these aims, . Equally though, it’s vital to acquire enough self-confidence to make a strong personal impact.

From where does such confidence stem? As one expert has suggested:

“If you think you have confidence you do, and if you don’t think you’ve got it, even if you have it, you don’t have it.”

Which is a rather obscure way of saying:

“What happens inside you, affects how you perform on the outside.”

Building inner confidence

The ability to talk convincingly about ethical behavior does not just happen. It grows from a mix of


Here are seven useful confidence builders

confidence buildersThese are simple techniques. Yet they can send a message of confidence and build your actual impact.


A slightly more controversial approach to building confidence in your impact relies more on outward appearance than inner assurance.

“Act as if” means behaving to show you really want to hear what others have to say. You adopt a positive mood that others can pick up on.

If you behave as deserving of their respect they’ll be more willing to treat you that way. It also helps to use supportive actions such as those above. Or try one or more of these

You statements

 You statements directly address the other person—not as an accusation, but as signal, a direct and personalised focus on the other person:

“Do you agree?”, “How do you feel about that?”[spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”]

Positive Language

Steer clear of statements that express a lack of conviction, that make you sound hesitant or over self-critical. For example:

“I’ll try to remember to come back to you on that.”

“I’ve really no idea, I’ll have to go and check on that point.”

“I find this terrible difficult too!”

ProactiveBe proactive when discussing or pursuing issues around ethics; take the initiative, that is, lead rather than follow the conversation process.

This can take the form of making suggestions, offering ideas, posing questions[spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”]

Read a free chapter of my book Look inside book

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