I am coaching a client who has had a long career and should be planning his retirement. But he loves his job, and instead of retiring, he wants to continue doing good work. He rose through the ranks and was successful in many challenging roles because his employer had trust in him.
Recently there have been changes that have impacted his work. He hired bright, smart young people and he is trying to figure out the millennial workforce. And, he recently got a new, younger and aggressive boss who is a proponent of Servant Leadership.
Figuring out millennials and servant leadership was causing him to question his every action. He was beginning to have a crisis of confidence.
Before we could deal with managing millennials and Servant Leadership, I helped him regain his confidence through a 4-step process:
1. Focus on strengths. Confidence emerges from doing good work combined with a great attitude. I have reminded my client to stay on-task and focused, regardless of politics or rumours.
One of the best ways to build confidence is to understand and lead from your strengths. Remind yourself of how you got to where you are in your career and what are the things you do better than anyone else, ask yourself how you can use those strengths to do your job.
When you’re engaged and energized, you are self-assured.
2. Believe in yourself. If there are weaknesses that are affecting your confidence, make a plan to work on them. But don’t obsess — making a diligent effort to overcome your weaknesses will boost confidence.
If you have a track record of being a good boss, tell yourself “I did this before, and I can do it now,” and believe it.
3. Your confidence will be threatened. You are a boss and if you thought it was going to be all sunshine and roses – forget it. Accept that you are destined to be on the receiving end of stuff that will shake your confidence.
But when that does happen, give yourself time to recover before responding or making any important decisions.
Be proactive by getting feedback from colleagues, friends or even your supervisor about how you are doing. Ask them to identify your strengths and places where you could do more. Often others see more in us than we recognize in ourselves.
4. Consider your reaction. One of the most effective ways to gain confidence is by lowering your emotional temperature. Try to understand the actions of your boss and co-workers as they may be acting out because they are stressed or frustrated.
Develop a strategy to partner with people by understanding their needs and wants. And take control of your part in that.
You, like my client, need to understand that you got to where you are because you have skills, competencies and you know your job.
Now pull up your big boss pants and start demonstrating what got you there – confidence that others will want to follow.