Does lack of personal confidence impact business negatively?
Are you or your team/employees confident? Wait before you answer the question. I want you to really think about it. Are they confident in every aspect of their job? When a team member is assigned a new task, do they embark on it with excitement or are they nervous because they aren’t sure they can actually carry out the task?
Interestingly, confidence has a huge impact on everything we do, personally and professional. One of the main obstacles in business is employee’s lack of confidence. In order to excel and do the innovative work that all companies say they want to do, a confident workforce is needed to accomplish the lofty goals of business. Unfortunately, for the majority of workers, low confidence is an obstacle when it comes to looking at doing unique and different things within business. Low confidence can make us doubt our ability and judgement and prevent us from taking risks and setting ambitious goals. If an employee feels they can’t achieve something or have any doubt whatsoever it’s in our human nature not to precede with that idea. From a business perspective that can mean missing a golden opportunity. So what can team leads, managers or senior executives do to improve the confidence of its employees so they feel that they can truly tackle anything?
#1: Cut the negative talk in the office – This is the number one killer of confidence. Negativity breeds negativity. Make it a policy that negative talk/office politics is not tolerated. You need to take a hard stance on this. There is no gray area and remember, this policy is for everyone; from the president down to part time workers.
Idea: Have a rule that states if negativity is brought up that the person who was negative must find two positives in the given situation/scenario. This technique allows the negative person to see things they may not have seen before, leading potentially to a new opportunity. Yes, you can make lemonade from lemons!
#2: Make your workplace a safe place – People need to know they can speak their truth, without any repercussions.
Idea: Depending on your current culture this may or may not be easy. For any new business idea or major decision that will affect your organization, make it a habit to use a pro/con lists. Give your team the opportunity to write down both sides of the argument. This approach takes away the emotional charge and any bias associated with the idea and looks at it from a decision making perspective of ensuring this idea/decision is inline with the organization goals, values and vision. Doing this allows people to speak up freely, providing both sides of an argument. It ensures that you’re making a decision that is right for the organization.
#3: Boost workplace knowledge – provide your team with opportunity for continuous improvement by learning new things, related to the organization, in short sessions, that are held at regular intervals.
Idea: Look at what needs improvement in your organization. This could range from meeting management, product knowledge, or even time management. Set up for the year your training session at lunch hours (call them lunch ‘n learns) and have employees attends these sessions to improve their skills sets. Knowledge is truly power.
#4: Practice, practice, practice – Give people the opportunity to practice key things needed in the office.
Idea: For example, if someone needs to practice their presentation skills, have them run certain meetings or parts of meetings. Have attendees know this is going on and provide feedback based on a predetermined list of requirements that was created by the trainee. This builds confidence in a few ways, practice does make perfect and the trainee is directing the feedback and taking ownership for development which all leads to increased confidence.
#5: Challenge the team to do something they have never done before – Take people out of their normal routine and have them do something they thought they would never do or could even do. This is a huge confidence booster which usually results in individuals saying, “Well, if I can do that, then I can do anything.”
Idea: This confidence booster is my personal favourite. We, at CSD, actually have a program that transforms your vision statement into a melody. We take your team and have them become song writers, musicians and singers and record their song in a professional recording studio (while capturing it on video – see our team’s below). The end result is a song that can be play on radio, because it’s that good. This is definitely a confidence booster and something that people can cross of their bucket list.
So take a look around your work setting. Is your team/employees or even yourself truly confident?
Improving confidence ought to be a major goal on your tactical To Do list. As confidence improves, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how your organization will improve too. Confidence building is a win/win for everyone and for the organization. So remember, “confidence comes naturally with success but success comes only to those who are confident!”