Whether we lead a team or collaborate with someone on a project, we can feel frustrated sometimes when we think that people aren’t pulling their weight. We know they have the abilities to contribute as well as the experience and yet they are quiet or slow to present their ideas. When they do share, they may be hesitant or say:
“Even though this isn’t a great suggestion, here it is.”
“I’m not sure this is the best choice.”
“I’m not as knowledgeable as you but this is my take.”
All these comments are just examples of people feeling insecure about themselves rather than seeing the wealth of information and talent they have to offer. I don’t believe that we are all born with an innate sense of confidence. Some of us learn it early on while others cultivate it as we grow. Building confidence in others is an important skill for leaders to be able to do in developing their teams as well as growing future leadership.
Are you a good confidence builder? Do you find ways to bolster the confidence in others?
Here are five ways to instill confidence with the people we work with:
1. THINK HOW YOU BECAME CONFIDENT
Some of us gained our confidence in childhood. Some of us learned to be confident as adults. One helpful way to understand confidence building is to reflect how each of us obtained it.
- Did a family member tell us how proud they were of our hard work?
- Were we a strong student and a teacher noticed our outstanding assignment?
- Can we think of a time our friends told us how important we were to them and the group?
- Did we display a talent or behavior that others made positive comments about?
2. HELP OTHERS DISCOVER THEIR GIFTS
It is sometimes hard for people we connect with to see their worth. Yet, to us, their strengths and talents are so obvious. Notice and tell your teams or partners we collaborate with, what they excel in. Help them locate their unique abilities, especially those skills that seem to come naturally to them. It not only helps others feel valuable and worthwhile, but it also begins the process of building careers and life goals.
3. COACH OTHERS TO BECOME FUTURE LEADERS
If leadership is all about growing future leaders, then empowering others to see their true selves is a critical way to cultivate future leadership on our teams. When we work on projects, don’t just focus on the tasks at hand but also commit to mentoring others by sharing the lessons you learned along the way. Be open about the mistakes you made and how you went about overcoming them. Be vulnerable about how you gained confidence by sharing your powerful stories and be open about the advocates you met throughout your career.
4. CIRCULATE THE WISDOM
Make sure to acknowledge the contributions and lessons from others by telling your team members and people in your organization. Give as much credit as you can to the accomplishments of the people you work with.
5. KICK THE HABIT OF INSECURITY
Be a role model about the importance of possessing confidence and a strong sense of self.
- Share your accomplishments in a humble way
- Tell someone how much you admire their gifts and talents
- Be generous in opening up about your roadblocks and how you successfully tackled them
- Offer to be a guide or advocate for people you meet who may need a little nurturing
How do you instill confidence in others so they can be their best and be recognized for their unique contributions?
(photo credit- Flickr CC Steve Wilson)