Thursday, July 23, 2009

Act like you know what you are doing...

And people will believe you do.

I've written about this in several previous posts, and I firmly, firmly believe it. I think it is one of the best tips I can ever give students and burgeoning professionals.

I am generally not perceived as a timid person. I'm downright sassy and give off a "know-it-all" attitude. Most of the time it is a ruse. I'm actually just a pretty good actress. I know that if my public persona is strong, most people are unwilling to test me. This comes in handy in a variety of situations:
  • When you want something you technically shouldn't have access to. See "breaking into hotel rooms" and "making people give you information that they shouldn't be releasing."
  • When you are trying to b.s. your way out of situation that could cause you trouble. See "forgetting an important assignment's due date" and "making up stories to get you out doing something you don't want to do."
  • When you want to be in some place and you shouldn't be. See "busting into conferences where you weren't invited (or paid for)" and "hob-nobbing with people who wouldn't normally give you the time of day."
These are just a few of the scenarios that have come up in my life where the old adage "Attitude is Everything" have come in handy.

Tips for pulling it off:
First, give yourself a good pep talk before embarking. "I am awesome, and I can pull this off!" is my usual mantra.
Have a serious and determined face. If you look timid and unsure you will be busted.
Walk with purpose. Rarely will people stop you if you look like you are hauling ass because of some important, yet unknown reason. Don't run though...then you look criminal.
Speak with purpose. If you stutter and stammer you look like a liar and fake. Even if what you are saying is complete horse crap so long as it's said with force and passion most people will believe it.
Strike up a conversation with someone important. If you are walking with someone and looking engaged then people assume you're supposed to be there.
Strike up a conversation with whomever you are trying to sway. Flirtations and small talk often work wonders. Charm can get you farther than you believe.

Now I can't offer any hard and fast success rates, but I can tell you it works more often than not for me. Practice makes perfect. If you've done all of the above well and you still can't get your way, I guess it wasn't meant to be. But keep trying. Remember...persistence pays off!


laurie said...

Yes, exactly. Confidence and being cool are the keys -- and never ask permission, just DO.

And then once in awhile it messes stuff up, and THEN you have to say, "OK, this is the price I pay" and be cheerful about that, too.

Diva of Diversity said...


And if you are charming while acting like you know what you are doing, people usually aren't too mad if they bust you. They usually just shake their heads and think "Oh this silly woman..."