While well-meaning, the idea that it is someone’s lack of confidence that is the reason they are not being promoted should be treated with incredulity.

There are at least three reasons why the idea ought to be banned:

  1. Telling someone to increase their confidence is the wrong thing to say because not only is confidence NOT a requirement for good leadership, in many cases it results in poor leadership. We don’t need more over-confidence in the talent pipeline.
  1.  Related to this, just because someone expresses doubts or concerns or does not project a strong certainty about their opinions, does not necessarily mean they are not confident. We may well be misdiagnosing ‘the problem’.
  1. Telling someone to increase their self-confidence doesn’t work. Even if it was a requirement for leadership roles, and helped people to get promoted, such exhortations and simplistic tactics to increase your self-confidence that litter the burgeoning self-help industry don’t work. Let’s not expect people to expend their precious effort doing something that doesn’t work!

This is not to say that a sense of self-confidence is a bad thing. It’s not. Self-confidence is a good thing, when it’s balanced with healthy self-awareness and other more important skills and talents that ARE required for leadership success.

You might also be interested in reading my blog from a few years ago which talks specifically about women’s confidence in the workplace.

Book a call with me today to find out more about how my executive coaching can help you beat burnout and find greater freedom, feel energised, connected and performing at your very best.

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