Four Ways That Leaders Boost (or Bust) Their Team’s Confidence

Confidence. It’s not only an important leadership element to possess; it’s also an important element to instill in others. Are your followers more confident under your leadership or do you strain their confidence level?

While I believe that a person should be the strength behind their own confidence, I also believe that leaders can build and boost a person’s confidence, or bring it harm.

Here are two confidence busters we may be unintentionally sending to our teams.

Micromanaging (i.e. “Breathing down my neck!”)

Message sent: My work is not trusted.

Over time this confidence buster will create an environment where a performer won’t move until approved. This kills a fast-paced culture. If you don’t trust the person’s work, then deal with it head on. Have a crucial conversation, teach, coach and allow some freedom to perform.  Don’t confuse lack of competence with lack of confidence.

Lack of Two-Way Communication

Message sent: I wonder what the boss thinks of my work, and does he even care about my opinion on things?

Lack of communicating and connecting makes people wonder where they stand with you. Communicating doesn’t just mean talking at your people. It also means listening to them and their ideas. We all have our own perspective, and it’s healthy to see things from different angles. Let your team share their angles. Connecting with others also includes laughing, sharing, celebrating, and debating with one another. This type of openness brings a spirit of confidence to the room because people are free to be themselves. You’re always more confident in your own skin.

So how can we boost our team members’ confidence? I want to talk about two of the most effective ways.


Message sent: I care about your success.

I work with an incredible team of people who believe in encouraging one another.  I have learned from them in this area and find that their encouragement to me, as their leader, strengthens my confidence. Having a culture of healthy encouragement also gives us all permission for a healthy balance of debate.

Investing in people

Message sent: Wow, they must think I’m worth it to be investing their time and money in my growth.

When you have confidence in the stock market you invest. When you lack confidence you pull back on your investment. People are no different. When you choose to not invest your time and money in the development of your team members, you send a message that you lack confidence in them. However, when teammates notice your investment in them it builds confidence, which fuels a positive environment and productive culture!

Inspiring a culture of confidence means you believe in your people, your vision, and a future that’s exciting and realistic! It’s a good place for your head and heart to be, and your team will sense it.

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  • Annie says:

    What are some specific ways you recommend leaders invest in their teams other than paying them to do their jobs?

    • Linda Sasser says:

      Time, advice, teaching… growing their leader abilities by reading a book and discussing it together. Knowing what their goals are so you can help them achieve them. Holding them accountable.

      Interesting how when I type this it reminds me of all the investing we have done with our children. We didn’t give them a paycheck, we taught them, critiqued them, held them accountable, guided them, laughed, played, protected and loved them. That investment (in environment) has paid off because now I see my children making great decisions in life and treating others with respect.

      What about our spouse… how do we invest in them?

      Funny how investing in people takes on a whole new light when you look at it that way.

      Thanks Annie for your comment. Has anyone ever invested in you? or not invested? and did you notice? how did it make you feel?