“If your number one goal is to make sure that everyone likes and approves of you, then you risk sacrificing your uniqueness, and, therefore, your excellence.” – Unknown
In every social group and every social interaction, there is always a leader. Being social and interacting with people can be fun, engaging and exciting, however for many it can also be scary, exhausting and raise levels of anxiousness.
The good thing is, if you do feel tired, exhausted or have raised levels of anxiousness in social interactions, there are ways to overcome this. However, to be clear there is no magic pill that makes you feel more confident in social situations (and I’m talking healthy substances, not drugs or alcohol!).
Social leadership is another key point. Being the leader in a social situation enables you to fully be yourself, show your uniqueness and therefore your excellence and it enables you to truly live the life that you want, as you can direct the flow of conversation and events.
Enhancing your social confidence and social leadership not only helps you live the life that you truly want, but it helps deepen your relationships with others, it can help enhance your career or work life, and ultimately it will help you become a more happy person. Social interactions and relationships are key to happiness, so it is worth the time and effort gaining an understanding of how to develop yourself to ensure you get the best out of your relationships.
It takes action from your side to learn, practice and take the lead in interactions. It’s time to put yourself out there and enhance your social confidence and social leadership.
As part of my work, I design and facilitate leadership and development programs and coach people with emotional intelligence. I also run Australia’s largest social network for those in their twenties. Over the years, I have found that there are 6 AWESOME things that you can do for building social confidence and social leadership.
Start a Meetup group
Meetup groups are not just a fantastic way of meeting new people, but they are a fantastic way of practicing social interaction in a comfortable environment. What I have found is that there are always new people coming to Meetups and that you will never be the only person that does not know anyone. This can help you to start to create your very own social circle that you can practice taking the lead in.
Starting your own Meetup group is another fantastic way of enabling you to truly show your uniqueness. You can design your group’s site, pick the locations and choose your target audience, allowing you to build social leadership in a way that is suited to your life.
Toastmasters is undoubtedly one of the best ways of building your confidence in front of people. For those that do not know, Toastmasters is a non-profit organisation helping individuals build communication and leadership skills. Essentially, you go through a variety of exercise, games and simulations that help you think on your feet, prepare key messages and speak in front of an audience.
Spend just 6 weeks with toastmasters and I’m sure you will feel a vast improvement in your social confidence and social leadership.
Develop and deliver a presentation on your topic of expertise
What is it that you are an expert in? What do people come to you for when they need help? Develop and deliver a presentation on your topic of expertise and enhance your social confidence and social leadership. Giving a presentation not only enables you to practice your speaking and communication skills in front of an audience, but it helps you develop authority in the topic that you are choosing.
Have you noticed that after giving a presentation people seem more interested in talking to you? Getting up and presenting in front of an audience gives other’s an insight into who you are as a person, enabling them to feel more comfortable in approaching you. This enables you to easily develop your social confidence and social leadership amongst something that you have expertise in and in an environment where you feel more comfortable.
Do something silly and make it public!
The world is simply one big playground! I absolutely love this one and it is something my friends and I do regularly. Never underestimate it’s power in enhancing your social confidence and social leadership.
Jump outside of your comfort zone and do something silly in public. Perhaps it’s singing in public, dancing in public, wearing an outlandish t-shirt in public. Perhaps it’s organising a day out wearing ridiculous outfits with friends. Whatever it is, make sure it’s silly, fun and something that you normally would not do.
Being silly in public helps you learn that life is simply about having fun and that social interactions do not have to be daunting or serious. It also enables you to truly show your uniqueness and bring out another side of your personality for the world to see.
Go to networking events
There is a lot of stigma around networking events, but in saying that there is also a lot of awesome value. Networking events are everywhere these days and for a range of different purposes. Find a networking event that suits your interests and practice meeting new people. The more that you practice interacting with others and the more you observe others interacting , you will quickly build your social confidence and also enhance your social leadership, allowing you to be more comfortable in expressing who you truly are.
Go to singles events
Even if you’re not single, going to single’s events can be a fantastic way of putting yourself out there and practicing your social skills. The good thing is, everyone is there to meet new people and simply have a good time. Sure, you might be spending more time with the opposite sex here, but they make up about 50% of the population so it’s not a bad place to start.
As an added bonus, if you’re single and you’ve developed your social confidence and social leadership, you will most likely walk away with a few dates to come your way!
Be the organizer of events amongst your friends
Last but definitely not least, be the organizer of events among your friends. You already have a good relationship with your friends and you will no doubt have social confidence amongst them. Being the organizer of events is a great way of developing your social leadership, allowing you to show your uniqueness and do activities that most interest you and that you feel more comfortable in doing. Your friends will see you as a social leader, also helping you to develop your social confidence.
Having complete social confidence and social leadership is not something that is found overnight. It is built and developed from taking action, putting yourself out there, learning more about yourself and experiencing the world. What are you going to do today that helps enhance your social confidence and social leadership?
Brendan Baker is an entrepreneur, socialite and starter of happiness. He runs Australia’s largest social network for individuals in their 20’s and has created The Start of Happiness, a movement dedicated to helping individuals find absolute happiness, reach peak performance and achieve ultimate success in life. You can visit Brendan and The Start of Happiness at www.startofhappiness.com