The wellspring of confidence is belief. When you believe in something, you accept and have conviction about the truth, actuality, or validity of that thing. When the belief is about you, its called self-confidence. Self-confidence is your belief that you can marshal your physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual resources in the successful pursuit of a goal.
The number one predictor of individual or team success is confidence level. Confident people tend to initiate action and control their environment - even under difficult conditions. Your degree of self-confidence will determine the kinds of risks you take, the amount of effort you'll expend, and the strength of your perseverance in time of trouble.? Your confidence will determine the amount of flexibility you creatively apply in new situations. Your confidence will promote either optimism or pessimism and will dictate the degree to which you are vulnerable to debilitating stress or depression.
We've already said that confidence is the single most important factor in determining an individual or team's likelihood of success. That being the case, promoting confidence is the first task that any leader should undertake. Even though confidence is a personal, intangible belief, it can be actively promoted. There are four basic ways in which we build confidence: the direct experience of success, observing someone similar to you, model success, coaching from a respected individual, and celebration.
The four ways of promoting confidence can work alone or in concert. The important point for leaders to remember is that confidence is the single greatest key to success. The great news is that confidence can be home grown and nurtured. Thus, it's vital that individuals and teams be provided the opportunity to succeed as part of their development. Such opportunities may be provided by assigning progressively more difficult tasks or by scheduling associative experiences. High-energy models or coaches can be employed. However it's done, this is a function of the planning process. The best results will come from the best-developed resources. It's also a planning function to ensure that success, and sometimes failure, is celebrated on a routine basis. That is not to say that the celebration should become routine - celebrating Tuesdays would quickly lose its impact - but it should be recognized as an integral part of the work process. Growing confident people and teams is a leader's first and greatest responsibility.
The bottom line: productivity gains of 30% can be achieved almost immediately and at little cost by simply boosting confidence.
George Ebert is the President of Trinity River Seminars and Consulting, a firm specializing in the custom design and delivery of team building, personal growth and ethical development programs. Mr. Ebert is a highly sought after speaker, educator and consultant with over thirty years experience in both the public and private sectors. He has presented widely throughout the Unites States. He is the author of the management cult classic, Climbing From the Fifth Station: A guide to building teams that work!