Essential Pittsburgh
5:06 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

WorKing With Confidence: Keys to Success from Sasha King

Women have been shown to have lower confidence than men, and this lack of confidence is affecting the amount of female leaders in the workplace.
Women have been shown to have lower confidence than men, and this lack of confidence is affecting the amount of female leaders in the workplace.
Credit BBC / Thinkstock

We often hear people say "fake it until you make it." What they’re faking is confidence. Evidence shows confidence is an important factor to succeed in business, especially for women.

Sasha King, independent career consultant, focused on some well known case studies to illustrate her point, such as the Dunning-Kruger Effect

"They have found that if they take men and women and they ask them to rate their abilities, men tend to overestimate their confidence while women tend to underestimate their confidence," said King "What we’re finding out is that in order for someone to be successful they need a slight sense of overconfidence in order to take the blows necessary to take chances and be successful overall.”

She said the Dunning-Kruger Effect also shows that men need to feel about 60% competent in order to apply for a job whereas women need to feel 100% competent in order to apply for a job. But how can these confidence problems be fixed?

King said, “What research is telling us is when you tell someone that they’re smart all the time and that it’s a natural ability, researcher Carol Dweck (who's findings are shown in the video below) found that students who were told that they were smart, when they were given a difficult task or challenge when they didn't do naturally well the first time, they tended to either cheat or they stopped putting forth any effort. So one of the things that parents should take away is, praise a child’s efforts, as opposed to lavishing false praise.”

Along with avoiding praise, King said that parents can encourage certain characteristics about their children.

“One of the key ingredients to being successful is being comfortable with being different and being original. So one of the things parents really should do with their children is encourage their originality that does create more optimism. It also creates more self-confidence.”

Along with a need to be comfortable with being original, children should be encouraged to take on difficult tasks and take risks.

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