Something Harder than Believing in Yourself

If you think believing in yourself is hard, try believing in others.

Every leadership development tool, technique, method, and strategy fades in comparison to the power of belief. Everyone needs someone who believes in them; young leaders need it the most.

The people who change us the most believe in us the most.

The first person I coached changed when they understood their employer believed in them enough to invest time, energy, and money. It was belief – not pearls of wisdom – that lowered their walls or protection and gave them permission to change.

People worry less about proving themselves and more about performance when they believe others believe in them.


Believing is risky. We don’t believe in others because we’re afraid they’ll make us look bad. In the end, the ability to believe is about us.

How to let others know you believe in them:

  1. Learn who they are.
  2. Provide opportunities, challenges, and risks.
  3. Explore options and solutions with them. “What would you do?”
  4. Call for and expect high performance.
  5. Explain the whys behind what you’re doing.
  6. Express confidence in their abilities. Be specific.
  7. Help them learn from failure rather than beating them up with it.
  8. Speak well of them in front of others.
  9. Connect them with experienced mentors.
  10. Deal with them according to potential.
  11. Invest your time in them.
  12. Keep your distance. As long as they know you’re on their team, don’t meddle.
  13. Avoid molding them into your likeness; help them find their own.
  14. Tell the truth even when it hurts them.
  15. Celebrate their efforts and contributions; minimize yours.

All successful leaders courageously believe in others.

How do you let others know you believe in them?

How do you decide to believe in someone else?