Leading to inspire confidence
Though we’d be hard-pressed to spot it in the melee of the Brexit circus, and in nations beyond these shores, among the many requirements of leadership is the ability to inspire confidence in others. To help them find that still and stable place within themselves from which they can move forward despite uncertainty.
More than ever we need confidence-inspiring leaders in all walks of life and perhaps nowhere is the need more important than in our workplaces. Given the time people spend at work leaders can do a great deal to build confidence that supports both performance and well-being.
We can inspire in many ways – from the painting of a great vision through skilful communication and explicit conviction to the delegation of a stretching task in a way that conveys the implicit message ‘I trust you’.
In reality it is a blend of our own positive behaviours – grace under pressure, delivering on promises, backing rather than blaming people when things go wrong and helping them to learn, recognising achievement (however small), coaching for improvement, being respectful and kind irrespective of who’s before us.
Then there’s our internal narrative and how that plays externally. If we’re bought into doom that’s what we’ll communicate – literally and energetically. This isn’t about Pollyanna positive thinking, rather conscious awareness of our thoughts and realistic focus on opportunity rather than problem, on elevating rather than pulling down.
And we need to ensure our people are well-equipped for their work. That’s about holding a constant focus on their development. About providing formal training as and when it is needed and particularly about creating a culture of learning on the job…coaching, challenging and supporting to help them progress.
As the wider world becomes less and less certain we surely have an opportunity to show the best of our leadership by helping the people we lead face what comes with confidence.