We hear a lot about confidence and how essential it is to every aspect of our lives, particularly our ability to build relationships and be successful.  Some of us may remember the Julie Andrew’s classic song “I Have Confidence” from the Sound of Music as one of our earliest encounters with the concept.

I recently heard a new definition of confidence in a talk by Susan Piver.   I came across Susan’s talk by accident, which somehow made it even more enjoyable. The talk was posted on line as part of  Storytelling Essentials: 15 Lessons From 2013 INBOUND Bold Talks. Susan got to the end of her talk and was almost out of time when she shared her definition of confidence.

Susan defined confidence as the ability to place your attention on maximizing another person’s position. I must admit I was surprised at first, since hers is not a common meaning of the word,  although it makes a lot of sense. Confidence is more about serving rather than selling, and listening rather than talking. How will someone be better off by having met us or heard about our product or service? If we are willing to be curious, ask questions and listen, we can think more powerfully and creatively about the benefit of what we are offering to others.