Confidence Busters and Builders

Confidence and competence: both are essential to our success as leaders. A person can be really good at what they do in part because they are so confident in their abilities and in their plan to move forward.

On the other hand, you can take a person who shares the same level of competence – they have the same skills and strengths – but they lack the confidence. This lack of confidence will limit what they accomplish.

Common sense might tell us that our level of competence should dictate our level of confidence, and I agree that yes, that is probably the way it should be. But in business, anyway, that’s not usually the way that it works. I’ve observed time and time again that our confidence level can limit or enlarge our competence.

As leaders, then, shouldn’t we work to build the confidence of our teammates? Here are six of the most common confidence busters made by leaders:

  1. Micromanaging
  2. Scrutinizing irrelevant details
  3. Being overly critical and honing in on what’s wrong without highlighting what’s right
  4. Throwing a fit when mistakes are made
  5. Always having to be right
  6. Downplaying others’ contributions to the team

Hopefully you don’t make it a habit to do these things. If you do, stop! Here are six ways you can begin boosting your team’s confidence:

  1. Encourage them. Everyone at every level needs encouragement.
  2. Teach them your thought process. This will allow them to learn how you make decisions, so they can begin making decisions with confidence.
  3. Let them learn from their failures. Create a safe environment to expand new thinking and skill sets.
  4. Don’t freak out when they fail. Leaders who freak out have teams who are afraid to move.
  5. Get them in the right seats. When we’re working in our strengths, we’re naturally more confident.
  6. When you are in disagreement, compliment them for bringing tough subjects to the table. Review what you like about their opinion and what you don’t like then thank them for being aggressive with their thoughts.

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