by Melanie Greene

Can I help others to become more confident?

Self confidence is an inner experience: it is about how individuals think and feel about themselves. Therefore you need to support them in using some of the ideas and techniques in this section to assist them in building their own confidence.

Think about what they need in order to become more confident. If you have a good relationship with them, ask them what they need and what you can do to support them. If you don’t feel you can do this, step into their shoes (see Using a different point of view in the NLP topic) and think through what they want and need from you.

Your behaviour

Think about how your behaviour is helping or hindering this person by asking yourself the following questions.

  • How is my relationship with this individual building or undermining their confidence?
  • Do I have a good level of rapport with them?
  • Do they discuss issues with me?
  • How could I have a better relationship with them?
  • Are they different from me or other team members? Do they need different kinds of support?
  • Do I give them specific feedback on what they do well and on their strengths?
  • Do I give them constructive feedback on what they need to change?
  • Do I coach them on a regular basis?
  • Do I support them in solving their own problems rather than solve the problems for them?
  • Do I acknowledge any differences in the way they work and communicate and appreciate the positive aspects of this?
  • Do I provide appropriate training and development to meet their needs?

What does that person, as an individual, need from you?

As each individual is different, you might want to find out from them what they need from you in terms of how you communicate so that you can then work with them in a manner that will support and help them. They might, for example, benefit from you

  • Noticing when things go well and providing them with feedback on just what they did which resulted in success
  • Showing appreciation and thanking them for the work that they do and/or when they put in extra effort
  • Providing constructive feedback on things that they need to change, helping them to know how they can develop themselves further
  • Providing the right kind of training or coaching support to develop their confidence, skills and abilities
  • Listening to them when they come to you with problems and, through skilful questioning, helping them to work out the solutions for themselves
  • Asking them to take on extra responsibilities or tasks to build up their skill base or show your confidence in them
  • Asking them for their ideas, making sure that they have a space and time to put forward their thoughts.

If they are open to the idea of actively building their confidence, you might want to encourage and support them in working through this topic themselves and putting the techniques into practice in their daily life. If this is going to be possible, consider

  • When can you discuss this with them?
  • How might you approach the topic?
  • What might be their reaction?
  • What do you need to do to enhance your relationship with them to support them in developing their confidence?

If you think it might be counter-productive or just not possible to broach the question of confidence building directly, then you need to consider

  • What can you do to support them without discussing their confidence?
  • If someone is not open to working directly with you on this topic, then who else might be able to support them?

Remember that there are many ways of helping someone to boost their confidence and that your behaviour can also undermine their confidence. Therefore, identify some actions from the list above that you can take to ensure that the way in which you work and communicate with the individual both motivates them and supports them in feeling more confident.

See also the topic on Coaching.