When under-performance has been an issue for managers I’ve coached, often the underlying cause has been a lack of confidence.
Little or no confidence can be debilitating.
When a leader has little or no confidence it can permeate throughout their team and wider.
Through coaching and facilitating individuals and teams, I’ve seen three common factors emerge as the foundation for confidence. These are:
Presence + Authority + Impact
Over focusing on one may cause a dent in confidence at some point.
Presence is about earning the respect of those around you, demonstrating your listening skills and empathy. Things like meditation can help. If that’s not for you, however, then simply making sure you’re blocking out space throughout the day to ‘re-set’ can help. And failing that, just making sure you have a 5 minute breather before going from one meeting to another can definitely help.
Authority is about your cumulative experience, knowledge and achievements. Forget humble bragging. This is about you knowing your value through what you’ve learned and experienced. Mistakes are okay, as long as you learned from them – they make you that bit wiser – they’re your battle scars. A really good thing to do if your lack of confidence resides here is to update your CV. This have often provided breakthrough moments for coaching clients.
Impact is about your ability to shift people’s minds and emotions. Essentially this is about your underlying communication skills. Key here is to understand your own preferences when being communicated with, and in making decisions. Not everyone will feel or think the same way as you so don’t fall in to the trap of trying to change people’s minds by applying the approaches that work on you. Preparation is key for impact and when coaching clients have taken the time to prepare what they’re going to say and how they’re going to say it, it’s made the world of difference.
Keeping a harmony and balance between the three should build confidence and enhance performance.
Hayley Lewis is an organisational psychologist and a lecturer on several Masters programmes across the UK. She is the founder of HALO Psychology, a business psychology consultancy dedicated to improving the effectiveness of public sector organisations.
You can also follow Hayley on Twitter.