3 Tips to Build Confidence in Timid Team Members
You make work miserable when you drain confidence from your team.
Confidence is fuel to face the future with optimism.
Confidence turns toward opportunity; self-doubt turns away.
Frivolous cheerleading doesn’t build confidence. It’s tiresome and irritating.
Stop howling at the moon. Any leader who shouts encouragement while ignoring painful realities is a lunatic.
Why cheerleading doesn’t build confidence:
When you tell timid people they can do it, they say, “No I can’t.” If they don’t say it, they think it.
Our inner critic is more convincing than external encouragement.
Someone says, “You can do it.” Your inner critic whispers, “Don’t believe it. They don’t really know you. You can’t do it. It’s dangerous to try. Don’t be overconfident. You better play it safe.”
Self-doubt finds reasons to reject encouragement.
Encouragement that works:
Powerful encouragement begins with ‘I’ not ‘you.’ Team members are less likely to reject your personal observations. For example…
“I notice you handled that stressful situation with compassion. That’s a remarkable quality. When you think about the future, how might compassion under stress serve you well?”
What can self-doubt say when you share personal observation? “You’re wrong.”
Encouragement works when you shift toward the future quickly. There’s no time for discounting or rejecting.
3 tips to build confidence in timid people:
#1. Don’t use frivolous cheerleading to convince fearful people they’re courageous. Reluctance resists pressure and finds reasons to reject encouragement.
#2. Create space for people to explore and apply their competence. Don’t sit across the table; sit on the same side.
#3. Use forward-facing strategies. Avoid defensiveness.
Timid team members poke holes in encouragement because they don’t believe it. You waste energy breathing life into ideas others reject. Create space where people convince themselves.
How can leaders work to build confidence into reluctant team members?