As a leader, I believe it is my duty to develop those around me. In the beginning, I focused on technical skills so my employees could do their jobs better. Over time, I realized there was more to it than simply teaching someone step by step processes. Reflecting on that now, I see that what I was really doing was helping people build confidence in their ability to do their jobs, which ultimately spilled over to the way they behaved as well.
It’s interesting to think that when we teach people how to do something, whether that is job training or sharing knowledge we are passionate about, there are multiple approaches we can take to accomplish this task. I have found that we need to mesh together both technical training with building up confidence in people, because one approach without the other leaves the job half done. This is because someone can have the knowledge on how to do something, but may not feel confident to take action.
The whole point of building up knowledge and skills, is that actual ability to apply these to your life or work. This is why teaching technical skills alone is not enough, and that building confidence is key to a person’s willingness to take action. Having people with the skills and confidence to act is the difference-maker in organizations. This leads to innovation, problem-solving, and brings your people to the next level.
So how do leaders build confidence in their teams? This is a complex answer because it’s driven by person you are teaching. Everyone starts at different levels of self-confidence which impacts how quickly they can apply technical skills. People with lower confidence in themselves may require more practice applying the skills in a safe space before standing out on their own. People with higher confidence may try to apply the skills before they learn all the steps and stumble along the way. My best recommendation is that open communication and setting milestones helps manage expectations of everyone involved.