It starts by understanding that there are different kinds of confidence. There is the capital “C” confidence that comes from one’s self-esteem. You know the type, the individuals who are so assured of their ability to be successful that they comfortably admit when they don’t have the answer. And there is another kind of confidence where individuals believe in their ability to succeed only in specific experienced-based situations within their comfort zones. For simplicity, let’s call the “C”onfidence trait confidence and the other task confidence. As an executive coach, it’s important to understand which type of confidence is at play.
Recently, I was talking to a young professional who shared that he lacked confidence in his ability to be successful in his new job. In fact, his lack of confidence was causing him to question whether he had accepted the right job. As we talked, it became clear to me that the tasks he was being asked to do were stretching his capabilities. As a result, he was concerned that he would make mistakes. We talked more about the tasks and he shared that the more exposure he has to new tasks, the more comfortable he is. This is a clear case where an individual who depends on task confidence was struggling.
As a professional services partner, when you see a young professional struggling with confidence, it is important to understand the root of the confidence issue. Task confidence will increase simply by becoming more familiar with the process and learning from mistakes. As a professional services partner you can support the individual by sharing your own experiences and mistakes and how they were overcome.
Of course, building trait confidence is the real answer. Then, new tasks won’t be so daunting. This takes time though, and often coaching, to achieve.
More to come.