Self-Confidence: Birthright or “Good Learning??”

Don’t be fooled — most leadership characteristics (and all behaviors) can be learned, taught, and developed. Self-confidence in leaders is a very real and actionable area for development.

First, whomever identifies someone with apparent self-confidence challenges as also someone having potential should get some kudos — it can be difficult to spot growth potential in someone with true self-confidence issues.

Next, realize that — assuming self-confidence is the real issue — training or other programmatic initiatives are seldom the answer. Self confidence is a deeply personal characteristic, and usually requires a more personal approach to be most effective.

Coaching (in-house or 3rd party), close mentoring, one-on-one sessions, etc. are generally the best approach. I’ve coached numerous senior leaders and managers with self-confidence problems, some of them significant.

Finally, If you want some view into the depth of challenge, ask the employee to respond to a few questions, like:

“A few things I do well include…”

“My biggest achievements this past year include…”

…and others like this. these can provide some insight as to how much work needs to be done. Someone with extreme self-confidence challenges may be unable to formulate ANY response to these questions at all; others, some degree of difficulty.

But that’s just me…


Kevin Berchelmann

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