As provided to Moorlands Human Capital as a guest blogger:
Self confidence is important in all aspects of our lives, and especially in our leadership role. A confident leader will be motivated to achieve results and find it easier to inspire those around them. But have you considered the results that an entire team of confident individuals could achieve? As a leader’s accomplishments grow with confidence, so can a team’s.
You may well have noticed the signs of a team that seems to have lost its direction and confidence in its ability: poor customer service, regular internal and external complaints, reduced productivity, increased conflict, and de-motivated employees wanting to leave the company.
As with individuals, a team that lacks confidence fears failure, covers up mistakes, takes credit when not due and avoids making important decisions. Inter-departmental relationships become difficult, initiatives are delayed and operational risks increased.
There are obviously two aspects to this: you as a leader, and your team.
As a Leader: Building your confidence requires a good understanding of your beliefs, values and working preferences i.e. what works for you, what is holding you back, what internal talk is building your confidence or destroying it. Then you can enhance the leadership skills that allow you to utilise your strengths, be aware of your development needs, and understand the different approaches of your team members. Develop your confidence by:
- Regularly reviewing your achievements, including your strengths and development areas.
- Acknowledging your values. What is important to you, as a leader?
- Being aware of and changing self-talk or negative beliefs about your ability
- Setting small goals and targets; stretching yourself gradually to reduce overwhelm or anxiety.
- Celebrating your successes – keeping a note to review, as we can easily forget how much we’ve achieved!
- Building on your knowledge and experience, and learning the valuable lessons from a positive point of view.
For the team: A motivated and engaged team includes individuals who understand their own confidence needs, as well as that of their peers. Whilst encouraging the confidence building techniques above, a leader can also improve the team’s results by:
- Spotting the signs of individuals lacking in confidence: eg. wanting to be involved in everything, not asking for help/advise, being indecisive, taking credit, needing to be liked, taking things personally, being argumentative.
- Developing motivational leadership skills to understand each team member, including the basic motivation needs of significance, certainty, variation, connection, autonomy and fairness.
- Understanding each team member’s working preferences and stress triggers. Management tools such as Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) and Thomas-Killman Conflict Mode Indicator™ (TKI™) can help the entire team to work better together.
- Helping them develop their knowledge and experience through delegation and support.
- Setting clear and challenging goals and celebrating achievements.
- Encouraging responsibility for tasks and solutions based thinking, while re-framing “failure” to help all learn from any mistakes in a positive environment.
- Open and honest communication
Leadership can be amazingly fulfilling and the impact of confident leadership is far-reaching for your team and the organisation’s future success. What other ways have you found to develop your confidence as a leader and support your team to find theirs?