Business woman with self-confidenceWorkers whose skill sets match well with the essential duties of the job they hold are more likely to have more self confidence and assurance than those individuals who feel inadequate in handling their job responsibilities. Why does this matter, or why should leaders take note of this? It matters because the amount of available talent to fill job openings is dwindling. Smart leaders recognize that they must be more strategic in their hiring and make certain that they are hiring a  person with self-confidence and who aligns with the skills necessary to perform the job well.

The second part of the hiring equation is that smart leaders will continue to develop the talent that already works within their company. The professional development of the company’s staff can be extremely profitable over the long run. However, to learn new knowledge and skills, individuals must venture outside their comfort levels. Stretching one’s abilities is part of the learning process. It can be uncomfortable learning new skills until the skills become more ingrained.

Learning and living outside their comfort zone can lead to self-doubt. Workers may question their capabilities to successfully complete new tasks. Yet, in this rapidly changing economy with technological advances happening with lightning speed, adapting to change is the new normal.

As a leader, here are ways to guard against self-doubt overwhelming the attitude of the workforce. Consider these strategies to replace self-doubt with self-confidence.

Guard against selective attention. Workers who feel insecure about learning new skills often only remember the situations in which they have faltered. Focusing on these instances confirms their lack of value to the company and they begin to feel inadequate. Such a negative focus causes these workers to ignore the strengths they possess and the solid work they have done in the past.In such cases, their sense of self-confidence will diminish.

Guard against elective memory. Another way workers perpetuate their feeling of inadequacy is by their failing to remember the accomplishments they achieved in the past. They lose sight of their successes only to dwell on the challenging learning situation they are currently experiencing.

Guard against selective interpretation. Workers who feel uncomfortable with their work environment often filter situations through a biased lens. For example, if their supervisor returns a project report with suggestions, the worker believes that the individual is unhappy with the quality of the work. The worker is justifying his or her feeling of incompetency, when, in reality, the supervisor might love the work, and simply wants to improve the report.

Encourage self-acceptance. Communicate to the workers as they acquire additional skills and abilities that everyone learns at a different rate and utilizes these attributes in unique ways. Each individual has value. Leaders model ways they value themselves and value others. A leader’s appreciation of others nurtures self-acceptance.

Success breeds success. If workers have self-doubt about their abilities, they will find it difficult to achieve goals. This lack of success fuels a lack of fulfillment. Create strategies for workers to test out their skills before tackling major projects. Let them get comfortable with every acquired skill so that they maintain a sense of self-confidence. Workers are more likely to stay with a company in which they feel self-confident and a contributing member of the organization.


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