How do you become assertive/confident?

Analyst 2 in RE - Comm

What is the/your trick to be the person in the office who is assertive/confident and nonchalant when speaking with the CEO of a real estate development shop? How do you speak to him, ask questions in a manner which you aren't intimidated by him/her?

I see people in the office who have a friendly relationship with the partners, MD, CEO like they just crush it. I don't want to be seen as the reserved, quiet person who doesn't speak out enough and ask questions especially if the founder is chill. Thoughts?

Comments (27)

Funniest
Feb 19, 2020

LOTS OF CAFFEINE AND B VITAMINS
and the album YEEZUS from Kanye

I listen to "I am a God" and "Black Skinhead" like five times a day

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Feb 19, 2020
lloydblankfine on Insta:

and the album YEEZUS from Kanye

I listen to "I am a God" and "Black Skinhead" like five times a day

The real POWER MOVE is blasting "I'M IN IT" loudly in the office for all to hear

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary." - Nassim Taleb

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Feb 21, 2020

I jizzed my pants the first time I heard that song

    • 1
Feb 22, 2020

I'll throw on "New Slaves" when I need to hit 15 seconds of god mode with that nasty fucking outro. Almost a guaranteed PR on the track or on the bench when it hits.

AND I CANT LOSE, I CANT LOSE NO I CANT LOSE CAUSE I CANT LEAVE IT TO YOUUUUUUUU

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  • Prospect in RE - Comm
Feb 19, 2020

Dude like just be normal. No one gives a shit. People are just people. Act like a human being and you'll be fine.

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Most Helpful
Feb 19, 2020

The first and most important thing is not to try and be someone that you're not. Anyone who spends more than a day working with you will see straight through it, and it's going to make your day to day miserable to constantly try and pretend.

Generally in life we think that others think way more about us than they really do. Do your thing. Do your homework and learn as much as you can about your product type, market, role, etc. Be a voracious reader. Grab drinks/coffee/lunch with coworkers and peers in the industry as much as possible, with the goal of asking questions and learning as much as possible rather than trying to be impressive. You'll never be the smartest person in the room and, if you are, go to a different room.

Nobody's expecting you to be some gunslinger that's nonstop wheeling and dealing. Just do you.

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Feb 19, 2020
Dry Dropper:

The first and most important thing is not to try and be someone that you're not.

This. Be yourself. Don't compare yourself to other people. Go all in on your strengths.

@CRE point about knowledge and relationships is very good also.

I would add that the importance of taking care of yourself outside of the office cannot be overstated. Work out every day. Be social. Learn. Meditate if that works for you. Doing shit every day to improve on a personal level will help you develop natural confidence which will keep you in the best possible mindset to grow professionally. Your confidence will grow organically over time and you will maximize your chances of capitalizing when opportunities present themselves.

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Feb 19, 2020
Dry Dropper:

Do your homework and learn as much as you can about your product type, market, role, etc. Be a voracious reader. Grab drinks/coffee/lunch with coworkers and peers in the industry as much as possible, with the goal of asking questions and learning as much as possible rather than trying to be impressive.

This is great advice. Nothing is more annoying than someone who tries to be impressive. It comes off as disingenuous to your superiors and your peers will loathe you. If you are passionate about learning and enjoy what you're doing that will naturally shine through and people will be able to detect that. All the fake posturing and validating is just insecurity. Confidence is being able to have a normal conversation about someones weekend, asking thoughtful questions about a deal, knowing the basics when your name is called in a meeting, etc.

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Feb 19, 2020

Know what you're talking about. Real confidence comes from knowledge and experience - it isn't a trick.

Likewise, those friendly relationships that you see have developed over time and through the proverbial fires of battle. You'll get there.

    • 1
Feb 19, 2020

Have you tried having sex with hot chicks?

    • 10
Feb 19, 2020

This is a real chicken or the egg one here... I've given this one some real thought, and i dont think you can achieve this consistently enough to boost assertiveness if you're having a hard time speaking with successful older men.. I think he needs to crawl before he walks

    • 1
Feb 21, 2020

the solution here obviously is to have sex with succesful older men

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Feb 19, 2020

Be authentic, authenticity comes through above all else. It doesn't matter if your confident if I feel like you're playing a character.

Then also be good at your job.

Then you're done, now that you're knowledgeable and authentic people will like you, that is unless your authentic self is a pedant.

Feb 19, 2020

Here's what you do - go get $30 in pennies and stick them up your ass. Then spend them. Trust me.

Feb 19, 2020

it has to come from outside of work. You need to be confident in everything. Dont say 'no' to anything (within reason) outside of work either; go to that happy hour, go fishing with that random guy who invited you even if you dont know how, go to that bday of the son of the random VP you dont know htat well.. i think awkward learning moments just socialzie you to be able to handle everyday moments more naturally....... do stuff you think is cool that you aren't doing today. Join a gym, or learn something cool (boxing, snowboarding, computer programing, its up to you to define what is interesting). Then it will come up in work, and you can speak authentically about it... "when you try hard, you die hard" - Kanye

You think G. Washington faked it? Na, he thought it would be cool to do his thing, so he did it, and now look at him, he has a monument.

You think Jesus thought it would be cool to do his thing? Na, he didnt think it was cool, he just did him.

This country was not founded by scared men. Think of the Gladiator, you think Russel Crow was asking how do i become assertive? Na he went out there and got deals done, given, he had a few curveballs thrown his way, and ultimately died, but you get the picture.

Also, when i was out of undergrad i was hitting up all kinds of execs in NYC (easy to set up coffee, and higher ups are surprisingly willing to speak with 22 year olds, especially if it allows them to talk about themselves) asking them how they became successful, etc, and one statement really stood out "you shouldnt care if its micheal jordan, or barack Obama, everyone is a person at the end of the day, just say hi and have a convo" ... it has now become that simple.. wasn't going to answer, but i started typing this stream of thought

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  • Intern in S&T - Other
Feb 20, 2020

To be honest, I struggled with this a lot when I was younger. Now, my friends and coworkers often say that confidence is one of my strengths. What changed? 2 things. First, know your shit. If you know, and I mean KNOW what you're talking about, then you get less nervous. Second, once you realize that no matter how senior, everyone is just a person who's trying to learn or hear what you have to say. Fake it till you make it. You don't have to "be" confident to project confidence. Once you start to fake the confidence, it begins to manifest in other parts of your personal life as well. After a little, you just become naturally confident. Own it. Internalize that you deserve to be there. Imposter syndrome happens to everyone. You got hired for a reason, now go and show them that reason!

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Feb 20, 2020

If you feel like you're "trying" to appear confident and assertive, then I think it can come across as exactly that, someone who's just trying, and not actually IS confident. You don't want to overcompensate with your words or actions. I think the key is to at first be at peace with yourself, and with what value you can deliver, because you always can. Let your actions do the talking, rather than your mouth. People are more impressed by what they see, than what they hear.

When it comes to speaking, I wouldn't over-think it. Be comfortable with yourself and BE yourself, and also be open with wherever the conversation goes. Be polite, honest, and sincere. It would be hard not to see you as confident if you can do these things.

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Feb 20, 2020

Honestly, I don't think there's anything wrong with being quiet and reserved, that's also a positive force and perfectly admirable. Trying to show off or insert yourself awkwardly is far worse. It doesn't sound like you're the odd genius staring at the floor! If you seem engaged and interested, and are trying hard & performing well, people in time will engage you. Having a warm, open smile and making eye contact is sufficient, being a positive presence. Don't force it and just allow things to progress in time, naturally and with sincerity. As said above, just be yourself. It's always safe as an icebreaker to ask a Sr. person about their kids, what sports, where in school, etc - everyone loves to speak about their fam.

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Mar 12, 2020

This. The most impressive guy I've worked with in my career rarely spoke during investment committee. But he knew his stuff, and when he felt that he actually had something to add he spoke and everybody in the room listened. He could change the tone of a deal discussion with a single sentence. Not even our CEO had that ability.

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Feb 20, 2020

It is so tricky but Find your limits by exposing yourself to different situations and pushing through the uncomfortable. Once you have confidence in yourself, you'll be amazed what you can accomplish.

Feb 20, 2020

Be the guy who doesn't speak up unless he knows his shit and has something useful to say.

If you stick by that rule, then at a minimum you'll always be confident when you do speak up (because you'll know your shit and it'll be something useful).

The downside of course is that maybe you're not speaking up much, but that's not a problem if you didn't have anything good to say anyways.

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Feb 20, 2020

Confidence comes with practice.

Practice meeting strangers and striking up random conversations. Taxi drivers are an easy place to start. See how long you can get someone to talk to you for. Can you get them to like you or do you a favor within one conversation? Even better. You need to learn how to ask good follow on questions, build rapport, and how to read your audience.

Once you learn how to guide a conversation you'll never walk into the room intimidated again. This will 100% help your conversational confidence and you'll be ready to talk with anyone at any time.

Practice. Fail. Improve.

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge
It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you
Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"

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Feb 20, 2020

I would say I naturally am someone like the OP and improved. I'm still not a talker for the sake of it, but in my sphere of influence, I know my shit. I have a good memory when it comes to numbers, so I can rattle out stats and important deal points easily in the heat of the moment (work on that). Also, fix your head set and phone so your voice sounds louder to others on conference calls (tip for you) if you are naturally soft spoken.

I've also worked in the chummy world of a big office. At some point, you might realize that you like working in smaller teams where your worth is really just your performance and how you get along with people (not trying to be the golden boy). In a bigger office/organization (I use the term bigger loosely because some companies have that culture of Hunger Games - big or small), people tend to hide their cards and there are more games. It's necessary to play the game there for longevity.

Just be you. Don't be afraid of your boss. It's hard sometimes they are either hard to read or have a reputation of being sort of mean; but they sense fear, and don't be fearful or else it will be self fulfilling. Get your good experience. Build your relationships by being in the "fire of battle" or in the trenches. You'll earn the most respect that way, by being dependable and competent. Ultimately, you'll know what environment you like and would thrive in.

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  • VP in S&T - Other
Feb 21, 2020

Quit masturbating

Feb 23, 2020

People love to talk about themselves so keep asking them questions about what they like to do. If there's a topic they are passionate about, ask "Tell me more" and they'll keep gushing.

Listen 75% of the time and talk 25%. Talk when you know your shit and don't babble on. Keep your shit tight.

As for small talk - FORD (family, occupation, recreation, dreams). Stay away from politics or religion.

It also depends on the type of person. Take their advice with a grain of salt as everyone has their own biases.

  • Analyst 1 in Other
Feb 23, 2020
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