Due to the stress of the pandemic, many people are feeling deflated and uncertain in thier role and abilities at work. As a leader, it is likely to fall to you to help to improve team confidence and get them back on track.
But for you to make a lasting impact and rebuild this much-needed confidence within your team, you must first enusre your own wellbeing and confidence is healthy. I shared how you can do that in a recent blog on improving self confidence. In this post, we will look at what you can do to support those you work with.
Why is it so important that leaders & managers are confident?
Confidence inspires confidence. One of the most important aspects of being a good leader is inspiring those that you support. A confident team isn’t just happier but they are more productive, more creative and more successful. And that’s a recipe for success for you, for them and for the business,
Your self-confidence opens the doors for others in your team to seek the support they need in order to thrive at work. This trust reflects positively on your business growth and progress.
How can you use your confidence as a manager to build respect within your team?
When people see you as a whole, complete person, faults included, it shows that you are confident and comfortable in your position.
Letting them know the things you find difficult, that you are conscious of your weaknesses and working on those areas of yourself that will encourage them to do the same.
Leading by example or ‘walking the talk’ puts you on a level playing with your team and will help you connect. They will see you operate with integrity which will not only help establish greater respect with your team but also your peers.
People want to feel heard and seen in the workplace, in fact, they expect it. Making time to sit, listen and engage with their thoughts is a great way to deepen your relationships with them.
You may not like them all or you may have a different opinion but that’s where your self-confidence kicks in.
You don’t have to agree, you don’t have to solve their problems, you just need to listen, ask good questions and take action once they have shared them (or explain thoughtfully why you can’t).
Seek feedback regularly
This is similar to the above but not quite the same. This is about listening to feedback about you, personally. You need to carve out time for regular and varied feedback from your team.
It can be formal – perhaps part of a 360 process; informal – during team meetings or 1:1s; anonymous – there are lots of survey tools like SurveyMonkey that can help you do this; fun – a quick vote on a variety of current topics/challenges.
Not everyone will be comfortable giving feedback to their manager, after all their appraisals and therefore jobs depend on this person. So it’s very important to take these actions from a place of curiosity and growth and assure them that their views are welcome and it’s safe to give them.
How can you help your team to improve their confidence?
Above all else, be human. And….
Get to know them
They have lives outside of work, get to know what they like, what they do for fun, how things are for them in the ‘real world’.
You don’t have to be best friends or pry for information if they aren’t forthcoming with it, but do try and see them as more than their job title. This can help to increase their self-worth and therefore their confidence.
Be clear and constructive
If things didn’t go as planned, don’t sugarcoat it or abdicate what has happened. Avoid phrases like “let’s look on the bright side,” or “a mistake was made.” Instead, be clear: “We missed the deadline because of XYZ.”
Invite their ideas on how to ensure this doesn’t happen again so they feel part of a solution rather than the cause of a problem.
During the pandemic, one of the biggest complaints I heard from teams across a variety of organisations was the lack of recognition they got for continuing to work through the chaos.
When an organisation is in maintenance or survival mode there may not be much tangible ‘progress’. But when your team is dealing with difficult situations it’s important to acknowledge the efforts as well as the outcome if you want them to feel willing and able to keep showing up.
Working on a big project or perhaps BAU tasks that never quite end? Break it down into weekly or monthly segments. And have a space where you can see what progress has been made.
Make time to recognise milestones that have been reached in meetings. This doesn’t mean you gloss over mistakes or ignore everything that still has to be done, but it does mean that people focus on the positive so they will be encouraged to keep going.
You’ll notice the advice isn’t dissimilar to the recommendations for managers themselves, we are all human after all. We all need to be told we have done a great job.
We need to stop and enjoy achievements before we run off to the next. Otherwise, we soon feel like it’s an uphill battle against deadlines and can get burned out. This doesn’t need to be an expensive celebration, it could be some nice biscuits in the team meeting or letting them leave a couple of hours early to mark the occasion.
Support for you and support for your team
If you’re looking to help your managers lead confidently and inspire confidence in their team I offer support for teams. To find out how KDP coaching and consulting can support your team, book a free discovery call to identify what your needs are and figure out the best steps to support them.
If you liked this blog then you will love The Anti Burnout Bible. A bi-monthly memo that is full of expert tips, tools and tales that will help you beat burnout so you can thrive inside and outside of work. Join the free community here.
This blog was first featured as an interview with Katie Phillips, burnout expert and owner of KDP coaching and consulting on the TSW website.