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  • Writer's pictureJenn Donahue

How to Build A More Confident Team



Want to inspire more confidence in your team?


As leaders, we all do. We want to build a team that is confident, empowered, and able to own their work.


So, how do you get there?


A lot of times, even though we want our team to be more confident, we fail to realize that it all starts with ourselves.


To build a more confident team, it all starts with you. From there, you can help your team turn a spark of courage into confidence, be prepared and practice for a crisis, and create a strong foundation that will allow you, your business, and your team to achieve great things.


When you have confidence in what you’re doing, how you’re leading, and the direction you are taking your team, the people around you will notice and begin to feel more confident in themselves.


A confident team owns their part of a project, communicates with ease, and does their work quickly and with purpose.


It starts with you


When it comes to empowering your team and building confidence, it really all comes back to you. Are you being a confident leader? Are you embracing your inner strengths? Are you showing up as the real you?


The more you do this, the more it will inspire confidence in those around you.

Your team looks to you as the leader and learns from the way you lead. If you’re leading with confidence, your team will emulate that. If you’re leading with insecurity, your team will likely lack confidence when making their own decisions.

As your own confidence begins to rub off on your team, the next step is to give them some freedom to really own their work. You have to let your team fly a little bit and give them opportunities that allow for growth and success, if you want to succeed as a business.


If you have a task, a project, or whatever it might be, give it to them. Let them try to figure it out. And once they do, it’s going to boost their confidence in return.


The key is to trust. If you trust that this person can be successful and you give up a little bit of your power because you really believe in their ability to succeed, you will see huge results in this person’s own confidence. Once they get a couple of projects under their belt, then they’ve built a strong foundation to stand on confidently.


Courage sparks confidence


If a confident team all starts with you, how do you gain confidence?


Confidence, a lot of times, comes from courage. Confidence is based on having the courage to do what you need to do. And so once you have courage, a lot of times it’s easier to have confidence.


The problem is, not all of us have courage 24/7, in any and all situations. So how do you get the courage? That can be a big step for a lot of people.


Maya Angelou said, “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”


It is in the ways that we practice other things that we find our courage. Being kind and taking the time to really get to know your team takes courage. Recognizing your team and their efforts, giving pay raises, bonuses, and gifts to your team and employees takes courage. Being honest, open, and transparent in the way you lead your team and business takes a whole lot of courage.


Find the ways you are already being courageous and lean into it. Build on it.


You can also remember how and why you go into a leadership position. You likely had to have a lot of courage to get to where you are. Remember those key moments of courage that were a catalyst in your career.


Know that you can once again do something courageous and from that place of courage, confidence is born.


Preparation and practice


When I was in Iraq, I was in charge of very large teams and the first time we had a crisis, I had to grab the operations manual and quickly remember all the things I was supposed to do. I was completely unprepared for it. This hurt my confidence quite a bit. It felt like everyone was thinking, “Isn’t she supposed to be the one in charge?”


It didn’t feel good. And it definitely didn’t instill confidence in everybody else.


What I found I had to do was really study and be prepared in every way possible for the next crisis. I committed things to memory, I reviewed the plan, I acted out the scenarios in my head, and then I would start to drill myself on it. I’d even have my team do these drills together so that whenever crises came up, we would all know what to do.


And eventually, when a crisis inevitably struck, I had no problem standing up and confidently leading, directing, and delegating orders to my team.


Being prepared and practiced gives you more confidence to get to where you need to go. When you drill yourself and your team, the answers in a crisis come more easily to you and you’ll feel confident, even under pressure.


Build a strong foundation


In order to feel like I can bring out my confidence, I need a really good foundation to stand on.


When it comes to building a strong foundation, it really goes back to knowing what you can do, who you are, and why you are where you are. Standing firm in your decisions, being intentional with your actions, and remembering your core values and beliefs all help to build a strong foundation.


When you have a firm foundation, you’ll find that your confidence has something to stand on, too.


People are constantly looking for a leader. When you feel confident in yourself because you’ve taken the time to build that foundation of confidence, people will naturally look to you to lead.


“Inner strength is created through effort and determination. At the core of it is the trust that one way or another you will be able to deal with whatever you may encounter in life — whether it be a crisis or simply the challenges of daily life.”

If you have that core of confidence, then when people are looking for a leader, you’re there to guide them.


Know who you are and what you can do


Having a confident team begins with you, the leader.


People need a leader, especially in times of crisis. Without a leader, the train can go off the tracks pretty fast and if the leader is not strong enough, the train will most likely crash.


Teams of people are typically drawn to someone who is confident. They are more likely to follow someone who confidently knows where they are going. And that’s really what we’re looking for in leaders… confidence that they will successfully get us there.


If you’d like to learn more about how to build confidence with your teams, book me to speak to your audience today.

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