IT'S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to find a job today that doesn’t involve working with other people. Thus, how you behave and treat others is important to your success as an individual and member of a business team. Growing up, we all wanted to be like, and associate with, the “cool kid” or “popular girl.” Did you ever stop and think why they were so likable? Sure, they may have been attractive, but chances are, their enchanting persona was on account of their charisma and confidence. I know plenty of people who aren’t the best looking, but are master sellers and moguls in business because they know how to use confidence to make it happen for them, without destroying their charismatic momentum by being cocky, thus unlikeable.
You would be amazed how quickly your coworkers will turn against you if you’re cocky at work. You might legitimately be the best at what you do, but you will eventually need your coworkers for something, at some point, down the line. Thus, it is important that you not rub in your coworkers’ faces the fact that you’re the best. The most common question I get about this is: So, if I’m the best, how can I be confident AND be the best without becoming perceived as cocky (because not many people actually try to be cocky). The short answer is to be cocky with kindness.
Without sounding too much like a kindergarten teacher (love everyone!!!), you will do well to look at things from your coworkers’ perspective. Chances are, they know you’re the best (or try really hard to be), and this can sometimes cause a bit of jealousy around the office. It’s not enough to try to subdue your confidence, because confidence is key in most, if not all, interactive business positions. The best way to accomplish your goal of not coming off as cocky is to be as confident as you want, but mix it with an appropriate level of kindness and support to your coworkers. I have always been a supporter of an amicable workplace as I have been watching companies filled with tyrannous executives and miserable employees fail for years.
Generally, people who go out of their way to say ‘good morning’ or ask a coworker if they need anything, come off as confident. These people are taking control of the situation by initiating an action, but double-up on the benefit because they are exuding confidence and kindness all at once. Another way to seem more confident is to not lose your temper or composure in a crisis. This might take practice, but by staying calm, you are calming others, and if you’re the only one doing it, people will appreciate your strength and you will inspire composure in them.
The bottom line is that businesses are political arenas on one level or another. If people like you, they generally won’t oppose you; and if they like you for the right reasons, they will even support you. Just ensure they know not to mistake your kindness for weakness.