Modesty is NOT the best policy…if you want to get ahead.
We, especially women, often find ourselves saying we need to be more confident. HoneyMoneyMakers did a post that said “You have to get so confident in who you are that no one’s opinion, rejection or behavior can fucking rock you.” So when I came across a piece by the Harvard Business Review on the connection between confidence and perception of competence, I was intrigued.
A pioneering study from 1982 explored just this, and it found that people viewed those who made optimistic predictions as much more competent than their modest counterparts— no matter how accurate those predictions were and how well they actually performed. In fact, even for those who predicted an optimistic forecast but actual had a horrible result, they were still rated as almost twice as competent as those who accurately gave more pessimistic performance.
What does that mean in terms of how you should behave at work? According to Harvard Business Review, you should
1. give a positive, confident response when asked to predict the outcome of your work. A negative forecast may lead you to be perceived as less competent — no matter how well you actually perform.
2. make it a habit to communicate that you are good at what you do — without any self-deprecation. This rang a bell, as it always seems strange to me that people begin their sentence by saying, “I could be wrong”, or “Just my opinion”. Why the heck am I listening to this person given those caveats?
Finally, for those of us who need a dose a courage to give ourselves credit where credit’s due, listen to the words of philosopher, Francis Bacon, who said, “Praise yourself daringly. Something always sticks. .
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