By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Put a dietitian in a clinical setting and she feels at home as she’s been trained to be successful in this environment. But at retail, the players are different, the business goals create a pressure cooker environment, and health and wellness is still a relatively new business driver. Retail dietitians have a new language to learn and must leverage flexibility and adaptability as core skills to survive in this environment. Confidence can easily be shaken when the RD steps into the retail setting. The five steps below are designed to help retail RDs build confidence at work.
Step 1: Eliminate Self-Doubt
Before you can build up your confidence, you must first purge all self-doubt. It’s like building a house – you first clear the site and lay the foundation. You build up from there.
Step 2: Fake it ‘til you make it
Whether you’re new to retail or have taken on new responsibilities, playing the part until you feel 100% confident in the part can work. As Christopher Robin said to Winnie “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” You are more competent than you know, so adopt a mindset that you know it all. Acting in this manner will help you take more risks and overcome the fear of failure.
Step 3: Speak Up
When in an unfamiliar environment, it’s more comfortable to hold back from sharing your ideas and thoughts. But you need to set aside this confidence blocker. If you state your view in a meeting, you’re building confidence because you can see the reactions others have to your viewpoint and adjust as needed moving forward.
Step 4: Get the Right People in Your Corner
Hanging out with colleagues who criticize you too much or who see the cup as half empty too often can be a confidence killer. Finding people who will encourage you and build you up – complimenting you on a project you completed or a new program you launched – is a surefire way to boost your confidence.
Step 5: Be Your Own Greatest Cheerleader
At retail, it’s important to keep your name and your programs in front of people, and an effective way to do this is by finding key moments to tout your wins. The key is to do so in a matter-of-fact, not bragging way. If you run into a company leader in the hallway, share a recent success story with a loyal shopper. In statuses with marketing, share feedback you received on recent social posts. Getting into the habit of self-reward and self-acknowledgement can build confidence.