Hi everyone, welcome to the Nanny Podcast.
Today we are going to talk about confidence, and more specifically about women’s confidence. This is important for nannies, and for everyone because it relates very closely with the hiring process and when you are working with people, whether it is getting grown ups to hire you or children to listen to you, your confidence plays a part.
Women are often less confident than men and to have success in most things, you need confidence. I can’t tell you how much this matters to me, I have been apologizing to demons and ghosts in my head, making excuses not to pursue something I know I would be good at and like, but didn’t because I didn’t have the self assuredness I needed. So many of us are such hard workers and have qualifications beyond what we say, we don’t let the world know what we are great at, and sometimes when we do we are read as cocky or overconfident, which will not get us what we want most of the time. In studies men overestimate their abilities and performance and women underestimate theirs while the performance quality is the same. It is worth thinking about.
Even in our agency, when men contact us, both clients and mannies, they are so much more confident than their female counterparts and most of the time the male clients know less what they need and the mannies have similar or less qualifications compared to most of our nannies and the moms who write us. But you wouldn’t think it the way they present themselves 🙂 Mannies who contact us have no problem telling us how much money they want to earn, not always realistic, but much fewer of our nannies do. Our male clients know everything about nannies (even when they don’t) and know exactly what they are looking for, even though just as often as with our female clients they might need something different.
We know that women in general are as competent, that companies that hire a lot of women outperform those that don’t and so on.
Why is women acting confident sometimes frowned on? Do you sometimes think or hear that a woman is described as cocky, aggressive or other negative words describing her behavior? Are we participating in the image by judging ourselves? To me, a really confident person, regardless of gender, that I tend to admire and look up to has a calm about them that tells me that they are comfortable with themselves and what they know and also with what they don’t know. Being assertive is not necessarily being confident, I think it also relates very closely to charisma which is very often described as being fully present and attentive to a person. Do you think that maybe when we pay attention, really pay attention, look people in the eye when talking and listening, showing our ability to be present, that we are able to show our confidence without being aggressive? I think so.
What is the difference between being confident and over confident and what does it have to do with nannying?
Confidence is being comfortable in your own skin and expressing yourself without feeling insecure or nervous. It comes when one knows one’s strengths as well as faults, and accepts them to improve oneself.
Overconfidence is when a person ‘believes’ that they are right every single time and that there’s nothing the others ‘need’ do, but follow them happily.
It has to do with nannying what it has to do with most employment, when you look at someone’s presentation of themselves and they are nuanced and balanced they are probably more likely to get and keep a job. Your CV will get you an interview, but your personality will get you a job.
John Charles Hewitt says it nicely on Quora: “A little bit of delusional, narcissistic overconfidence is useful in propelling you towards improvement. It’s like giving yourself an emotional loan without a security deposit. Confidence based on experience is stiffer stuff that tends to be more reliable. I’d rather have a surgeon who is confident based on years of experience operating on me in place of an enthusiast of hospital dramas who can put on a good doctor impression.”
I have both clients and nannies contact us every day and it is often interesting what approach they take. I am not going to get into the unprofessional ways people send me files and information without introducing themselves and explaining what they want, that is for another episode and doesn’t really have a lot to with confidence I think, but rather the attitude that comes across. As a generalization, most people who have had some experience and talk from that place show their strengths and weaknesses beautifully, which tells me that they are confident and comfortable with who they are and what their goals are, personally or professionally, as well as competent. I have lots of nannies like this and it is wonderful working with them. Then you have some that might have worked for some famous people and without the knowledge and humbleness that experience gives you act over confident and aggressive, often being rude to our agents and act inappropriately, which always makes me wonder, if you are so accomplished and want the world to serve you, why are you contacting us to get work with us? In the same way the clients that contact us to help them get the best childcare for their family shows their confidence, or lack of it in how they communicate.
How can you own your confidence? In my research it seems like confidence and charisma are very closely related. Here are some tips to communicate confidence:
Make eye contact with the person you talk to both when you talk and when they talk. Don’t seem distracted by scanning the room or checking your phone.
Position your body so that you are facing the person you are talking to. Again this shows that you are giving them your full attention. Use open gestures like showing the palm of your hands when you talk, don’t cross your arms since it is a closed off gesture.
Embrace your imperfections. This is so important. Nobody is going to look up to or even trust a person who thinks they know it all. Being aware of your flaws will not only open you up to improvement, but it also tells the person you are talking to that you know yourself, good and bad and that you are comfortable with who you are because you know what you know and also what you don’t know.
Take responsibility for your own actions. Insecure people tend to make excuses or cover up mistakes. If you’re confident, you know that a mistake or error is not the defining factor of who you are. Work on taking responsibility for your decisions, both good and bad. This will make you read as more confident to those around you. If you make a mistake, don’t minimize it. Instead, think to yourself, “That was a mistake. It was poor judgment on my part. I should try to do better next time.”
Prioritize self care. Self-care is not self-indulgent. If you want to maintain a confident attitude, you need to care for yourself. You need rest and relaxation in order to maintain your confidence.
Give yourself small rewards. This can be as simple as a warm bath at the end of each day, or a long walk to clear your head after work. It is also setting boundaries, which we will talk more about in another episode because it is so important.
Make time for the basics. Get enough sleep, eat well, and give yourself some downtime.
Make sure you get your exercise, moving your body every day is both important for your health and your confidence.
I found a nice list of tips from successful women on how to be confident from elle.com http://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/news/a19684/powerful-women-on-how-to-be-confident/
Thank you so much for listening to the Nanny Podcast, be confident and always be kind and we will see you next time 🙂