A leader who finds security within themselves and exudes unwavering confidence becomes a guiding light, inspiring others to believe in their own abilities and embrace the path to greatness.
Over the last 30 years of being in corporate environments, I’ve noticed many patterns. One consistent phenomenon revolves around the behavior of leaders within group settings, particularly during meetings.
The most charismatic and adored leaders that I’ve come across in my professional career – the ones who seem to have a fanbase at work – exude a confidence that makes people safe, connected, at ease and even inspired.
But I’ve been in the presence of a leaders who sound and behave just as confident, however, people don’t seem to respond to them in the same way. In their presence, people are more reluctant to speak and employees would rather smile and nod than engage in genuine conversation.
Whenever I’m in the presence of leaders from both groups, the greatest difference that I’ve observed comes back to a genuine sense of security.
The first group of leaders seem to possess a unique balance of confidence and deep security, which profoundly shapes their demeanor and interaction styles. Their confidence presents as quiet and gentle. Their presence commands attention, not through forceful dominance, but through a calm assurance that inspires respect. They approach conversations with humility, valuing the power of listening over excessive speaking.
I’ve also noticed that those leaders are inclined to be the last to speak, and ask thoughtful questions to deepen their understanding rather than to challenge the thoughts of others.
In their presence, others feel heard, and as a result they almost accidentally end up fostering an atmosphere of collaboration and trust.
In contrast, those who exude confidence but lack security on some level (for example: in their professional relationships, personal brand, experience knowledge, etc.) often exhibit a louder presence that dominates the room.
These leaders seem to enjoy the spotlight and holding the mic. They tend to prioritize self-expression over active listening, generating an energy that can feel imposing or even turbulent to others. Their actions seem to be rooted in ego and power, as they seek to assert authority rather than foster connection.
The pattern repeats itself with every new opportunity to observe different leaders in various group settings, where the distinction between a “loud” and a “quietly” confident leader has less to do with how people communicate, and more in their ability to develop self-assurance and a sense of security.
Thy this out:
I strongly advise embracing regular self-reflection as a daily practice, a recommendation I consistently make to my clients. As we approach the end of this week, I urge you to engage in introspection specifically focused on how your energy is perceived—whether it leans towards the louder end of the spectrum or the quieter side.
If you find yourself gravitating towards a louder presence, consider making gradual adjustments to redirect your energy in social situations, with the aim of fostering connection rather than creating distance in your interactions.
By cultivating self-awareness, you can enhance your leadership style and harness the transformative power of quiet confidence.