Confidence is sometimes mistaken for arrogance in a negotiation as well as everyday life. There is a fine line between the two in spite of the fact that they are actually polar opposites; much like a magnet with a positive and negative pole, arrogance and confidence can be viewed in the same respect. Crossing that fine line or giving the appearance of crossing it can be detrimental in a negotiation or in a variety of other professional and personal situations.
Arrogance vs. Confidence
Just like beauty, arrogance versus confidence is sometimes in the eye of the beholder; it can also be a very culturally sensitive matter. However, the key differentiator between the two is the foundation. Confidence is grounded in experience and expertise with a sense of respect and humility; whereas arrogance, is grounded in nothing (it is unwarranted baseless confidence with lack of respect and humility). There are varying degrees of each and it is more of a spectrum with shades of gray in the middle, but we can feel it when someone crosses the line.
Arrogance Repels/Confidence Attracts
Arrogance repels positive people; it is detested in a negotiation and will hinder progress. It breaks down trust and a collaborative environment. Whereas confidence, on the other hand, attracts positive people, fosters a collaborative environment, and promotes progress. Sometimes it is tough to gauge how other people perceive us. If you are having trouble discerning whether you are coming across as arrogant, ask a trusted friend or business partner who has had the courage in the past to speak honestly with you about other difficult/sensitive matters; at times looking in the mirror doesn't completely work (the light can be adjusted or we could just look at our good side).
Magnetism Can Create Or Destroy
Magnetism can generate electricity. It can also destroy something incredible (your computer/hard drive). Likewise, confidence can create and arrogance can destroy. Unfortunately, it is much easier and quicker for arrogance to destroy than it is for confidence to create. Plus, attempting to repair what arrogance has already tarnished is very difficult.
When someone is able to carry confidence with humility in a negotiation it is a beautiful thing. There is no doubt about that person's strength of character, purpose, passion, or resolve. Walking the fine line between confidence and arrogance is a challenge at times, but that's one of the reasons why it is so rare and precious when someone can do it.
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