Workplace Essentials: Characteristics of Confidence / By Alan Bernstein, SHRM-SCP

Confident communicators have a variety of skills they use to reach success, even during challenging circumstances. Developing these skills will substantially improve your personal and professional lives in many ways. Although confidence can be expressed in many ways, there are often shared characteristics among confident individuals.


Self-awareness is the ability to monitor our inner world, including our own behaviors, thought patterns, and reactions. It helps us to see where we need to improve, as well as recognize personal strengths and limitations.

It is important to be aware of what is happening within us in order to understand where to focus our energy. This allows us to gain confidence in challenging situations and reduces feelings of anxiety or aversion.

Before someone can grow authentically with their confidence, they must be self-aware. Once self-awareness is learned, confidence can progress in a more natural way.


Optimism is about having a positive and constructive outlook. It shapes life’s experiences with a lens of positivity that encourages people to take action, despite an unexpected outcome.

Confident people share their optimism and are motivated by their own abilities. Since they have likely found previous success through accomplishments, they’ll be motivated to seek these accomplishments again.

Confident and optimistic individuals recognize that they will continue to grow with their skills and abilities when they challenge new opportunities with positivity.


Every professional can benefit from practicing courage-based confidence. This involves accepting hard truths, acknowledging our emotions, and moving beyond fears.

Courageous people believe in themselves, their capabilities, and values. They remain brave when faced with difficulties or challenges and tend to be less fearful because they recognize and believe in their capabilities.

While confidence is a feeling of self-belief, courage is a choice of acting on our beliefs. Once our confidence is boosted by acting on courage, we can continue to do courageous things.

Humble Responsibility

When mistakes are made, confident people do not make excuses. Rather, they own the responsibility for their decisions and behaviors.

An important part of accepting responsibility is to humbly search for solutions rather than place blame on other people or situations. It’s a chance for growth and development to further progress within our careers and lives.

Success comes from personal responsibility. Humility is about viewing oneself, including accomplishments, in a modest manner. Being humble includes recognizing both strengths and weaknesses, accepting criticism, and owning mistakes when they show up.

In Conclusion

We all have room for improvement when it comes to self-confidence, and building it is one of the best things that we can do to advance ourselves both professionally and personally.

Alan is the owner of HR Office Savers, Inc., an independent human resource consulting firm that supports small local businesses and individuals with their human resource needs, including staffing, compliance, and job search. Prior to launching his business, Alan held a series of Human Resource positions of increased responsibility at Harris Corporation, Honeywell International, GTSI Corp, and Verizon Wireless.  Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of Buffalo, is Six Sigma Green Belt Certified, and is a Senior Certified Professional with the Society of Human Resource Management.HR Office Savers offers a full range of human resource support options, from employee relations to termination, including performance improvement plans and progressive discipline policies. Contact us today at positive and sustained employment for both workers and employers!