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You are here: News » Archived News » The dangers of over confidence at work

The dangers of over confidence at work

Confident Guy

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When we’re looking to make an important purchase or business decision it can be a source of reassurance to have someone on hand who’s confident and knowledgeable enough to advise us, who’s able to demonstrate an understanding of our requirements and deliver a clear insight about what we’re looking for, someone who’s able to explain and communicate well and who comes across as informed.

It’s a relief to have our decisions confirmed by someone who’s authoritative and positive about their answers to our questions.

A person who appears highly confident is in a position to inspire trust in others, so ensuring there’s a good feeling about following their lead. But the downside may be that this strong persona dissuades others involved in the process from thinking for themselves and becoming more engaged, even when they have valid questions about what’s being said or are doubtful of its veracity. This can occur when the other person is especially forceful or is firmly opinionated and committed to their views.

Someone who is extremely confident and self-assured may even be oblivious to other people’s suggestions, feedback and input, and, in a work environment, this could ultimately result in co-workers becoming disinterested and demotivated. They may become afraid to speak up out of concern that they’ll look foolish, fear that they have nothing of value to contribute, or even find themselves feeling unsure about topics that they’re usually confident about, that they’re familiar and experienced in.

Errors may be overlooked or mistakes minimised when someone’s over-confident and blasé.

They may even be disinclined to proof read or check over their work; there’s no need, they’re so confident that it will be correct! They may even tread roughshod over the initial work brief, so convinced are they that they know far better than the client what’s wanted. This behaviour could succeed in disrespecting and perhaps even losing clients, whilst also disillusioning other staff members, causing them to feel there’s no point in engaging or working on ideas, innovations or solutions.

Why bother when no one’s prepared to listen or appear interested if they speak out or attempt to get involved.

This can eventually result in a 9-5 approach to work, almost a work-to-rule, quiet quitting mindset, where staff do just enough of what’s required to get through each day. An over-confident colleague can cause a convivial, co-operative work environment to become competitive and less friendly, where everyone becomes cautious and guarded, perhaps even appearing rude or abrasive. The work atmosphere can turn into one filled with suspicion as tensions increase, with others even questioning if their ideas or suggestions will be stolen and claimed by someone else.

Someone who’s over confident can appear arrogant and unapproachable.

This discourages a sharing, close connection with others, in both personal and work-related relationships. It’s a detached and unfriendly way to interact, which often results in others stepping back to protect themselves and their space, so careful are they to avoid being hurt or offended by things that are said or done. However, the confidence that often inspires others is the calm, easy awareness that comes from someone who really knows ‘their stuff’, but doesn’t need to shout about it.

There’s a relaxed energy which comes from someone who’s comfortable and familiar with what’s happening, with what’s needed, who is clear about which next steps to take and knows they can cope efficiently with any mishaps or if things don’t go to plan. A positive, supportive environment doesn’t require points to be scored or for someone to have to continually prove that they’re better than others.

There’s a pleasure in sharing knowledge, in teaching and training others to be good whilst all ‘winning’ together.

Equally, ‘good’, positive levels of confidence can be evidenced when someone volunteers that they don’t feel they’ve the relevant skills to satisfactorily perform a task or perhaps need a little more training. Or when they admit that they don’t feel they’re the right person for the job and intend to pass it on to someone else, maybe making a referral to a third party. Or even when they admit to having made a mistake, which they’re committed to putting right. Those actions demonstrate honesty and integrity and may even succeed in establishing better relationships with customers, becoming the ‘go to guy’ and point for referrals when something’s needed in their specific sector.

Others can relax when they know that they can trust the other person to do the right thing. They can feel safe being in their hands.

It’s possible to be both humble and confident at the same time, at ease in your own abilities, expertise and reputation. And how much more attractive is it when other people make a recommendation and sing your praises. It’s far more plausible and convincing.

Why not let someone else be confident on your behalf!

Susan Leigh
Susan Leigh, Lifestyle Therapy

Susan Leigh MNCH (ACC)

South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer and media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.

She’s author of 3 books, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’, ‘101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and ‘Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all on Amazon and with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.

To order a copy or for more information, articles, or to make contact please call 0161 928 7880 or visit www.lifestyletherapy.net

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