Posts Tagged ‘confident’

Boastful, confident or diffident – which is best?

Yes, you’d think the answer’s a no brainer yet achieving the optimum mindset and behaviour is not a slam dunk.

Decades ago I learned when interviewing potential sales people for our department that most of the male applicants would be assertive (often verging on aggressive), “bigging up” the skills and abilities they already possessed, and their track record. The input from the majority of females on the other hand would be more along the lines of “I think I can do this job well with the right training”.

Since we invariably preferred to instill our own Thomson methods of training we were more interested in raw material potential than evidence of often bad sales techniques and habits that we’d have to train out to make way for what we wanted to train in… And we made it plain in our recruitment campaigns that experience was not necessary as full training would be given… Yet even so, the guys, by and large, exhibited what’s often referred to as the “fake-it-till-you-make-it” during the selection interviews.

Years later, when looking for interviewers for a substantial telephone marketing research campaign on behalf of a b2b client, determined not to be labelled as being descriminatory against either sex I interviewed guys and gals and came across exactly the same syndrome. I stressed that experience was not essential – a good , clear voice, pleasant personality and the ability to listen and make accurate notes was. I took on five of each yet by the end of two weeks had dispensed with the services of the guys: They just couldn’t get the interviews…


In my opinion this just doesn’t work. When I was going after a promotion to a management position many years ago one piece of advice was “Act like you already have the job” to which I responded: “I’ll act like I have the job once I get it – I’m not going about ordering my colleagues around in the meantime…”.

  • I was wrong and
  • The advice wasn’t specific enough

I believe what my well-meaning advisor actually meant was: “Think of the qualities displayed by those you admire who are already holding a similar position, and demonstrate that you, too, have those qualities (whether you get the job or not).” And I would have bought into that whole-heartedly.

Think about the examples here and see if they apply to you or any of your employees. Then see how you can help yourself or them to raise the game… :-)

My thanks to Lindy Asimus for starting me off on this train of thought… :-)

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