Confident employees are more likely to contribute ideas, offer different perspectives, and respectfully challenge leadership. These high-performance behaviors not only add value to an organization’s offerings, but they can also reduce risk, enhance quality, and increase operational efficiency. Managers who build knowledge-backed confidence in their employees will earn dividends in terms of team performance.
Even the most capable employee can suffer a bout of self-doubt. Savvy managers keep a watchful eye on their reports and leverage the following techniques to enhance their outlook.
- Give Feedback:Tell employees how they are doing using recent, objective examples of observable behavior to illustrate their actual results. Positive feedback will spur them on. Constructive feedback will eliminate guess work and put them on the right path.
- Support Learning: Confidence comes from ability. Great managers help employees establish a metrics-based development plan to leverage strengths and improve weaknesses.
- Encourage Application: Ability isn’t theoretical. Reading a flight book is not the same as piloting a plane. Supportive managers give their employees the opportunity to practice news skill in a safe setting.
Assume Personal Accountability
It’s easy to make excuses when self-doubt arises. Many pundits encourage this blame game, citing the rise of Impostor Syndrome and the isolating effects of virtual work as a catalyst for an alleged confidence crisis especially among younger workers.
They note that the situation can be worsened by a toxic company culture. Work for a jerk whose behavior is endorsed by other jerks and over time your voice will stifle, and your confidence will wilt. There’s truth to all of this, but workers shouldn’t be so quick to lay blame elsewhere.
Even in tough job markets, most employees can secure an in-person role if desired or change companies to avoid a poor manager or culture. We all have the power of choice.
The more painful realization is that there’s a difference between having imposter syndrome and being an impostor. Sometimes your ideas are dismissed not because management is evil, but because they are, well…bad. Too often employees confuse confidence with competence. But you simply can’t exchange actual skills for false bravado. The “fake it till they make it” concept rarely works. Sometimes an employee lacks confidence because he or she hasn’t earned it yet. The good news is that a great manager can help the person get there if they’re willing to do the work.
Need a career coach? Contact me via www.PlotlineLeadership.com.
Photo by Moose Photos