The importance of a supportive coach, teacher, leader or parent cannot be overstated. Helping a person, be they young or old, develop their sense of confidence is always time well spent.
When we are caught up in our stresses and struggles it can be hard to recognise the potential impact we can have on another. We can innocently impact people in ways that go deeper than we ever imagine or intend.
In my daily work, I can help people to recognise that their perceptions of events are all important. That it isn't the person or what the person says or does that ultimately influences their confidence. Instead, it is their views that make all the difference. Having said this people can operate in such hostile environments, or where power differences play such a large role, that it takes a great deal of psychological skill not to let words cause psychological pain and damage.
I can't help but think that life would be much easier if people recognised and respected their potential to influence one another as a precious nutrient for personal growth and an excellent performance-enhancing commodity.
We know that a person's view of who they are, their self-concept, begins to form in their first year of life, hence the importance and responsibility of parenting well. A person's views of their abilities, value and sense of potential are influenced throughout their lifetime through the reinforcement of those early beliefs. Yet those early beliefs can only ever be a point of view. As is your feedback to a person on their capacity for performance, growth or flourishing in the future. A person's potential is unlimited yet we almost always assess a person's capacity by the precedents that are set for them rather than by examining the simple cause-and-effect principles of performance development.
It's the simple difference between telling someone "That's just like you" and "If you do this next time that will happen". The former reinforces, and the latter provides useful information for the improvement of performance, growth and flourishing.
That's when feedback truly is a gift.
You can recognise your opportunities to foster confidence and take those opportunities by offering guidance on being effective in the future rather than reinforcing the past. Your role, whatever your relationship with them is, in the ongoing development of their confidence, can be pivotal.
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I have set a date for my first Confidence Day Retreat here in Switzerland. It's happening on the 30th of September 2023. Register your interest by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.