Seven Steps to Communicating with Confidence
Thursday, December 11 2014 Emily Roberts MA, LPC
Every day, situations present themselves that require you to communicate with confidence. You may have to speak up, ask for help, or simply engage in small talk, which can be hard for many people. Some situations may even be uncomfortable, like talking to a boss or a person you don't get a long with. This makes communicating with confidence a challenge. This post will give you the steps for communicating confidently in any situation.
7 Steps to Communicate With Confidence
- Identify your emotions. When you’re clear about what you’re feeling, you’ll speak with more confidence. You may have many different feelings, and that’s fine. Just make sure that you’re clear about what your emotions are telling you. My friend's late to dinner, again! I'm so annoyed.
- Control your emotions. Before you say a word, check in with your emotional self. If you’re upset, it’s best to take a moment to chill out. Saying something in the heat of the moment is not smart. Take a minute to breathe, or find a way to distract yourself to reduce the intensity of your feelings. The more control you have over your emotions the more confident you will feel.
- Identify your goal. In every situation there is a desired outcome. So before you speak your mind, clarify your goal. You may not know exactly what to say or how to say it, but if you know what you want, you can start there. Even if the situation isn't emotionally overwhelming, you are annoyed with your friend but understand there is traffic and it may not be her fault. You want her to call you or let you know before she's late so you don't get annoyed. Your goal would be to express that to her. When you know what your goal is it will help you remain confident in communicating.
- Location. Location is key, so be mindful of where you want to have this conversation. Confronting someone at a dinner with friends or through text message will not turn out well. The best situations are one’s that you have some control in like taking a walk outside and talking with her in person.
- Find the right time. The saying is true: timing is everything. If you’re in a rush, or the person you’re trying to talk to appears overwhelmed, it may be a good idea to find a better time for the conversation, one that works for both of you.
- Practice what you want to say. It may sound silly but when you say it out loud or write down what you want to say, you feel more confident. You have more control. Keep your main points in mind, and remember what you want the outcome to be. Speak up about your feelings.
- Appear confident. Nonverbal communication -- body language and facial expressions -- can be important. Posture and eye contact mean a lot. Slouching and looking at the ground makes you look like a pushover (as if, literally, someone could push you over). Standing up straight reflects confidence. Want to take it a step further? Go to the mirror and look at your facial expressions as you pretend to listen. What do you see when someone says something rude or upsetting? Anger? Disgust? Notice the ways that your body language speaks louder than words.
Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.