One area I have noticed that really affects a teams performance is the level of confidence in their leadership, their goals, and most importantly themselves. One way that you can give a team confidence is to show through actions and words that you believe in them. For example, one of my clients knew their sales team was capable of raising yearly sales by at least 20%. They had the products, the skills, and the time to deliver this. However the MD noticed a certain amount of uncertainty and self-doubt in his team members. At a morning meeting, the MD told the group they were getting close to breaking last year’s sales record and said, “You guys are going to come in 20% over last year if you keep this up. Wow!” By stating his desired and attainable goal as a given, the MD let his team know how confident he was in their abilities.
You can project confidence to your team with blanket statements as well, such as telling members of the team they always does a great job. The more specific you make these statements, the more believable they will be. You can also project confidence in your team in several other ways, including the following:
Take ability as a given.
If you’re convinced someone can do a particular job, but the person is not sure of his her own abilities, verbally acknowledge those abilities as a given. You might say, “I know you can achieve this because ….”
A leader should always compliment team members on a job well done. No task done well is too big or small to be recognised.
Provide confidence-building projects.
Assign smaller projects that will stretch a team member’s responsibility a little bit at a time. The fact that the projects are smaller in scope will allow the team member to deliver successes quickly, building the individual’s confidence.
People cannot live on confidence alone. Back up your confidence in your group by rewarding them with bonuses and promotions or by recognising their contributions publicly.
Acknowledge the winning team.
Let your employees know they are part of a winning team by referring to it as such. For example, tell them they really make you look good and that their hard work is not going unnoticed. This will redouble each individual’s desire to perform.