Confidence is a hugely powerful source of energy. When we have just achieved something, we feel full of confidence and able to do anything.
It brings out our full potential – and we “can move mountains”, as the saying goes.
The trouble is….
Confidence is expected in leaders. Every leader is expected to have it in constant supply.
This seems especially true in men. I’ve noticed that men won’t easily admit to a lack of confidence. Even if it is true, they will find ways of covering it up, for instance:
“I had nothing to say” when he was silent or monosyllabic in a discussion
“I’m too busy” when he avoided a public speaking opportunity again
“We’ve got targets to meet“ when 1:1 meetings with team members don’t happen
It’s not just me – or you
In my work over the last 40 years I’ve noticed that EVERYONE lacks confidence in some situations – from leaders and aspiring leaders to competent individuals at all levels.
Yes, my experience with clients shows that it is UNnatural to be confident in all situations without working on it.
Competence in one area certainly doesn’t mean confidence in all.
When you are stretching yourself, taking difficult decisions and challenges, as many leaders do on a regular basis, there is easily a sense of fear and risk. Even alongside the gut confidence that you made the right decision.
And that fear is the very opposite of confidence.
Sadly, this can make you avoid situations. Instead of taking steps to build the confidence you need.
Is it a gender issue?
I’ve noticed women will talk about confidence.
As a woman, I don’t feel ashamed to say “I want to develop myself in X”, “I need more confidence in X” “My problem with X is I don’t feel confident about Y”. Confident and shy women will own up to a lack of confidence and ask for help.
Clearsightedly, women seem to see it and say it is holding them back.
For men, it seems that to admit to a lack of confidence in a single area means you’re not leadership material at all, ever.
Of course that’s not true of all women. Or all men. But I’ve noticed a clear difference.
In fact, I’ve had male clients who won’t give an honest testimonial about the value of their work with me because they think (or know) that by saying “I was suffering from a lack of confidence in X” they will give the impression they are unreliable. Even though they have now developed the mindsets, habits and confidence they lacked back then.
Not long ago I wrote that when the team under-performs, there’s a confidence gap somewhere. I suggested it could be in the leader who isn’t confident in leading.
In my work with leaders – male and female – my objective is to enable them to have the well-grounded confidence to use their potential fully and effectively, so they make good decisions and make positive change happen.
When you are hiding fear, or denying a lack of confidence, you don’t make good decisions. You don’t lead well.
Feed sustainable confidence
When I work with clients on leadership and business growth, I’m always delighted by how much they value the practical confidence techniques and resilience tips I share. For example:
- Quick exercises which turn fear into energy
- Mindset activities to use at any time
- Practical language-based exercises which quickly change the story
- Exercises to calm nerves before an event
- Daily habits and routines for a resilient mindset and self-belief
- Techniques using music, film, breathing.
Admitting you want to develop your leadership is the first step.
Whatever the catalyst for the decision to work with me – it needn’t be confidence. It could be communication, team performance or something else – working together, we discover what you really want:
- A specific skill or set of skills
- A neutral partner to challenge and support you
- All of the above.
The “C” word – Confidence
Confidence is an integral part of both Leadership and Communication. In fact, to my mind all 3 are key to your business success.
So let’s talk openly about this c-word. Let’s develop CONFIDENCE consciously, notice when we’ve got it, when we lack it, learn ways to ensure it exists hand in hand with humility and a learning mindset.
Then we can access its full power.
Spend some time with me:
Book a 30-minute conversation with me (with my compliments) to discuss your challenges, opportunities or aspirations by clicking on the link.
Alison has over 30 years’ experience in helping clients narrow the gap between performance and potential to produce improved business growth. Her vision is to empower leaders to increase their ability to influence others, transform how they lead and create positive change. She’s recently become an Conversational Intelligence® Enhanced Practitioner through studying with Judith Glaser, founder of C-IQ®. Contact Alison Haill at alison.haill@opcOxford.com, by phone on 01865 436791 or click here.