Building Confidence

3 Apr

To a great extent, each of us needs to be responsible for building our own confidence, but as leaders we can often instill confidence in others. It’s an ongoing process. As a leader, you can enhance confidence building in others by incorporating the following practices into your daily routine.

1.     Provide experiences to learn from – Building confidence stems from providing employees with experiences that they can learn from and deal with successfully. When dealing with less experienced employees, you need to review tasks in greater detail and, when possible, break them down into specific activities before delegating them. Setting up the proper learning experience is the leader’s responsibility.

2.     Provide honest feedback –Giving positive feedback exclusively is dangerous – it can cause inflated egos and is unrealistic. No feedback is just as bad; employees don’t know where they stand. Honest feedback is when a leader is willing to be transparent and has no fear of giving credit where credit is due. Likewise, the leader is willing to point out the negative or deliver criticism. Delivering criticism or negative feedback is where most leaders have difficulty, primarily because they lack any formal training in the area. One thing is for sure – delivering criticism or negative feedback effectively cannot be done by the seat of your pants, nor can leaders rely strictly on common sense. Delivering criticism or negative feedback so that it results in improved performance and strengthens relationships is a skill, just like hitting a ball in golf is a skill. Both have to be learned and practiced. Honest feedback entails presenting candidly how a leader perceives a particular situation or a person’s actions. When a leader communicates honestly, there is no need to waste time second guessing what is being conveyed. It also begins to lay the foundation of trust in the leader’s relationships. People trust people who use praise and criticism effectively.

3.     Communicate the results of the effort – One way to build confidence in others that is frequently overlooked is communicating how someone’s actions positively or negatively affected the outcome of an effort. Rarely do we, as leaders, have the time to get back to our employees to let them know the outcome of their efforts, yet this is one of the most significant confidence builders available to leaders.

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