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Building confidence is a team sport

As an aspiring leader (and even as an established one), my managers would say to me ‘Just have more confidence and you’ll be great’. It was encouraging to have others believe in me but in reality I didn't know how to build confidence. I lacked the tools and know-how.

When it came to supporting my own team members who lacked confidence, I did my best to encourage them, give them positive feedback and celebrate their successes, but I was out of my depth.

Confidence is probably the number one thing I coach others on now. Witnessing how many people come into the coaching space lacking confidence and self-belief, and the impact this has on their goals and aspirations, their mindset and well-being and their potential success, shocks me.

I believe confidence-building is too quickly brushed over in organisations and left up to the individual to ‘just find it’. Of course, it isn’t like that everywhere, but in many cases, leaders themselves don’t know how to help another build their confidence, because they’ve never had that type of support either.

If I could go back, I would work with my line manager on a confidence building strategy (and work with my team on their own strategy) - something that we could both use to ensure I was supported with building my self-belief.

When people have more confidence, the benefits to the individual and company are clear:

  • They step up and speak up

  • They challenge and share their opinions

  • They act more authentically which means they are more fulfilled at work

  • They perform better because they’re not spiralling so often, or so deeply, into self doubt

  • They connect with colleagues

  • They drive forward faster without constant rumination

  • They take risks

  • They put themselves forward for more opportunities

  • Overall, they’re more content

We all have a role to play in raising each other up. As an individual, you need to commit to, and take responsibility for, your personal development and take action with building your own confidence - usually involving inner work and reflection.

1-2-1 coaching supports individuals to build confidence by enabling them to develop a deep awareness of self, an appreciation of their skills and strengths and overcome limiting beliefs that hold them back. But the majority of the work happens outside of the coaching space, in the ‘real’ world.

As a manager, you have a responsibility to support your team members with this important goal and this requires the understanding and support of an empathetic manager who can empower an individual to make progress towards a more confident self.

Together as a team, you can engage in conversations about confidence and start to share experiences and helpful insights. Confidence can be built among teams who take time to regularly provide positive feedback to each other and celebrate successes.

Here are some ways managers can support their teams to build confidence:

  1. Open up the conversation and make a plan: Support your team members by talking openly about their confidence, times when they feel more / less confident and what impacts their confidence in 1-2-1s. Not everyone will be the same and therefore they may find different tools and techniques helpful. Commit to creating a plan and help them by checking in and keeping them accountable.

  2. Set clear goals and expectations: When individuals have a clear understanding of their goals and expectations, they can focus on achieving them. This clarity can boost their confidence in their ability to perform their duties.

  3. Encourage learning and development: Providing opportunities for team members to learn and develop new skills can help them feel more confident in their abilities. You can do this in a number of ways by offering training, mentoring, and coaching.

  4. Provide constructive feedback: Feedback is essential for growth, but it must be delivered in a constructive and respectful manner. When you provide feedback that is specific, actionable, and delivered with empathy, individuals can use it to improve their skills and build confidence.

  5. Recognize and celebrate success: When someone achieves their goals or performs well, recognise them for it and celebrate their success. This recognition can help boost morale and increase confidence.

  6. Foster a positive team culture: A positive team culture that values collaboration, open communication, and respect can help team members feel supported and valued. When a team feels supported, they are more likely to take risks, contribute their ideas, and build confidence.

Overall, building confidence can be a team effort with the individual, the manager and colleagues all playing a part. By being open, setting clear goals, encouraging learning, providing feedback, recognising success, and fostering a positive team culture, individuals can build the confidence they need to perform at their best.

How can coaching help? Coaching helps individuals build confidence but encouraging reflection on their experiences, their strengths and skills and on identifying areas of improvement. This self-awareness can build confidence by creating a more accurate and positive self-image to help them speak up, achieve their goals and perform to the best of their ability.

'Empower' is a group coaching workshop that supports individuals to build their confidence at work. Returning to work, they will have the tools and techniques to put into practice and turn up the volume on their self-belief, feeling ready to speak up, step up and achieve more.

If you'd like to find out more about how coaching can support you or your team members, get in touch to arrange an initial chat.

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