Building confidence through competence


In my last post, I wrote about building confidence through big challenges. But we don’t always have big challenges in our lives, nor would we want to. Another way to build confidence is by creating smaller challenges that increase our competence – skills and knowledge.

Competence is one of five leadership qualities identified by Kouzes and Posner in the book The Leadership Challenge. In order to be viewed as credible, a leader must demonstrate they have the knowledge of what needs to be done and the ability to get the job done successfully.

Our confidence can sometimes be undermined by fear, uncertainty, and lack of familiarity. The first time I served as a hearing officer, I was nervous. I was afraid of losing control of the hearing. I didn’t know what to expect from either party. Even though I had been trained, I didn’t feel confident. Now that I have served as a hearing officer several times, I no longer feel anxious or nervous. I am familiar with the process and have confidence that I can execute my role without difficulty.

What area of your life do you feel least competent? public speaking? writing? time management? Research shows that if you successfully complete small challenges in these areas, you will build your confidence. Other ways to create small challenges include taking on new projects, building partnerships, and even finding a new hobby. Anything you practice, you will improve. And improving means you’re on your way to being more confident.





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