If you want to control or influence the outcome of a situation, you have to influence the person(s) involved in the interaction first. Take the initiative to engage people around you first.
Be the first to make solid eye contact, reach out you hand first, enter the boardroom before a meeting when everyone else is hesitating. If you’re hesitating whether you should wait for someone to call you, call them first.
When you take charge people sit up and pay attention.
In today’s world of cell phones and twitter, it can be tempting to check your mails, reply to a text or share a funny video on facebook while you talk to someone else in person. The false impression of being busy, popular or self-assured that some people associate with such behavior is in fact, quite detrimental to your image as a grounded, confident person.
Give the person you are speaking with face-to face your full attention instead. Lean in, point your toes towards them, and focus your eyes, ears, thoughts and words on them.
Not only will it convey respect and genuine regard for the other person, it will also demonstrate that you are genuinely at ease with yourself and the world around you because you do not need the crutch or protection of a phone or gadget to shield you from engaging, meaningful dialogue with the real person in front of you.
Just like you pay attention to your own body language, tone and voice; it is also important to closely observe the other person’s non-verbal cues.
You will be able to gauge whether they have a question, comment, a point of contention or need clarification. By being empathetic and sensitive to their concerns, you build trust and reveal that you are confident and forthcoming.
Stand your ground
Don’t be afraid to state your point and stick to what you say. While it is important to appear friendly, you should not feel intimidated by someone into holding back your thoughts and concerns.
In the beginning, your voice may waver, your mouth may dry out, or your words may desert you. Even if you are not perfectly confident, stick to your guns. It will get easier with practice. The more you practice navigating conflicts calmly and confidently, the easier it will become.
As a bonus, the other person may gain a renewed respect and admiration for you because you are standing your ground in a situation where you may not be completely at ease.
Try this: Before dealing with an intimidating person, create a list. Write down your past achievements, admirable qualities, reasons why someone would respect you and want to associate with you.
A confident person is not a negative, insecure or malicious person. Try to cultivate compassion in your interactions by trying to gauge and understand the other person’s viewpoint.
Be kind, sympathetic and polite but stay firm when you feel strongly about something.