Being Competent at Confident Conversation

Being Competent at Confident Conversation

Being competent at having confident conversations is a skill. When I initially entered the world of work, I did not realise this. Having spent the best part of 16 years working in software development, I have crossed paths with some pretty intelligent people.

When I set out, everyone seemed to know so much more than me. This did not fill me with confidence.

I then began to notice a bit of a trend with certain people. They would become quite agitated and argumentative if their knowledge was questioned or challenged. Even if the other person was just trying to understand!

I slowly began to realise that more often than not, when this was happening, it was because the person was blagging it and was trying to prevent themselves from being uncovered!

Fake it until you make it only gets you so far in the tech industry!

It is very difficult to effectively collaborate with people that fabricate the truth and constantly feed out shit sandwiches to protect their own façade of superiority. I did however, find a pretty simple and effective way to navigate these conversations and was able carry myself with confidence consistently.

Be honest about what you do and do not know.

Don’t be afraid to say that you are not sure.

If you choose to adopt this mindset, and remember to keep curious, it means that every social interaction will have one of three positive outcomes:

  • The conversation will be harmonious; meaning everyone will able to successfully agree the reality of the situation, then collaborate on moving forwards
  • You will be enlightened by the other person and learn something new
  • You will have shared some new information with someone else that will help them learn and grow*

* There is a slight caveat with outcome 3 as it relies on the other person having the ability to accommodate new information without perceiving that they have lost face. It depends if they define themselves by their rightness.

All you can do in situations like this is lead by example. Show how you are able to thrive by keeping an open mind and being honest. You never know; others might just want to give it a go too.

Practice this approach and you can be certain that you will always have an honest answer to every question. Now that will fill you with confidence!

Be the change that you want to see in the world.

Enjoy, for now.

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