Common Purpose / 1 July 2024

Six Leaders On Their Go-To Tips For Quick (And Impactful) Confidence

From individual skills, to instilling confidence within their teams

agility for senior leaders

The journey of self-confidence and learning how to build it up over time is not linear. Each and every one of us has encountered a time where our confidence has been tested, and we’ve had to try some kind of technique or method to push through. Of course, some work better than others, and there is no end to the methods that can be enlisted whenever we do feel low on confidence.

Because of this, we thought it would be helpful to put the callout to our networks, our cherished alumni who each have their own experience across sectors, geographies, cultures and industries. They came up with some valuable tips and tricks that might also help you as you navigate your journey in leadership. Read on to discover them all.

Tips for building confidence in yourself

Bui Thi Thom, Vietnam: Building my confidence up involves recognizing my capabilities and ensuring thorough preparation. I believe true confidence stems from having the skills and knowledge needed for the task at hand. By investing time in honing my abilities, I naturally boost my self-assurance.

Alan, Ireland: I've done a two step process: Step 1. I've simply asked people on my teams or who I work with to tell me how I am doing. I ask people to grade me on a 1 to 10 score on certain skill areas.  It's outside of HR processes, is totally anonymous and totally up to them if they complete the survey. This sounds risky, and it was definitely unnerving when I did it but it's quite surprising how many do complete it and the answers were reassuringly positive...I've found that things I thought I was weak at, were things that others didn't see as an issue at all and they helped me see important stuff I needed to work on.

Step 2. This is the tough bit... feedback is fine but you have to act on it.  So I built an aggregate score on each skill I'd asked about, then built a plan to improve the skills that needed most work. That way the people who gave me feedback actually then saw me putting their feedback into practice and they see me being accountable.  I've had great mentors helping me on this too so it's not all mine.

Frank, Canada: By forcibly pushing myself out of my comfort zone and getting involved in groups of peers both socially and academically. Pushing myself to communicate, think, discuss problems and share ideas with one another. Such processes take time, but I will get the reward at the end - confidence.

Tips for building confidence within team

Charmaine, Singapore: Embracing challenges as opportunities for improvement not only builds my individual confidence but also allows me to instil a similar resilient mindset within the teams I manage. I believe in fostering an environment where setbacks are seen as stepping stones toward success, reinforcing the collective confidence of the team. This approach, inspired by Churchill's wisdom, shapes a culture that values continuous learning and unwavering determination.

G Tshuma, South Africa: Do a quick SWAT analysis of each team member and appreciate or talk to them in a way that meets their expectations and goals. This is done to get the best out of everyone and to ensure that the environment is made conducive.

Anon: When someone has asked for help or is struggling, rather than swooping in to take that struggle away, work together to overcome it. This empowers them to tackle that task and other things in the future rather than needing to rely on someone else to help. Also by asking for contributions from the team at as many opportunities as possible and valuing those contributions, people grow in confidence.


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