Abhijit BhaduriGuest Author

What is the point of staring at the stars? Find out

By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist

Confidence is a weird thing. Too much confidence makes you believe you know it all. Too much confidence can actually hinder your learning process. If you feel underconfident, you will never put the skill into practice. I tried to learn horse riding but I was so afraid, I abandoned all plans.

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When I tried to learn horse riding – but was mortally afraid

If you have too little confidence, you’ll be like a turtle hiding in its shell, afraid to come out and implement what you’ve learned. So, the trick is to find that sweet spot and embrace the joy of learning and implementing with confidence.

Like I discovered recently when I had to drive in US even though I had driven in India for years. “All it means is to learn to drive on the other side of the road. And clear the knowledge test.” Clearing the knowledge test was easy. Then came the moment of self-awareness. I did not feel confident enough to drive on the other side.

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The invisible ingredient

I had the knowledge and years of practice. But I lacked the confidence to use my skills. That is the invisible ingredient – having the right amount of confidence. This is an unrecognized problem for the individual when he/she tries to decide if they know enough to not have the imposter-syndrome.

Imposter syndrome, also called perceived fraudulence involves feelings of personal incompetence that make you wonder if you can ever match the expectations others have of you.

Skills or confidence – which one comes first?

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Read more: Skills or confidence

Building confidence is a crucial aspect of personal and professional development, and it can be just as important as learning a new skill. In fact, confidence can often make or break a person’s success in a particular endeavor. Prioritize building confidence as a measure of success in corporate L&D programs.

  1. Try something new: Confidence plays a major role in a person’s ability to take risks and pursue new opportunities. When a person is confident in their abilities, they are more likely to step out of their comfort zone and try new things. This can be especially important in the workplace, where taking risks and trying new things can often lead to career advancement and growth. When employees feel confident in their skills, they are more likely to volunteer for new projects, speak up in meetings, and take the initiative to solve problems.
  2. Confidence builds resilience: In addition to promoting risk-taking, confidence can also increase a person’s resilience. When someone feels confident in their abilities, they are better equipped to handle failure and bounce back from setbacks. This is especially important in a fast-paced, high-pressure work environment, where the ability to handle stress and maintain a positive attitude can mean the difference between success and failure.
  3. Increases motivation: Building confidence is also closely tied to motivation and engagement. When employees feel confident in their skills and abilities, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, higher levels of productivity, and a more positive work environment overall.

So how can L&D teams build confidence in their employees?

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Build your ability to learn something at will

Calculating ROI is FABULOUS way to take the joy out of learning

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Corporations are notorious for killing the joy of learning by making it look like a punishment. They don’t fund your learning a skill which the corporation has no use for. But you can. It is all about building your learning muscle. That means you need to really enjoy learning for the sake of it. Learn a new language that has no use for in the workplace. Pick your most ridiculous ideas to learn something useless. If someone asks, “What’s the point of learning that?”, smile and walk away. Set no deadlines. Learn it purely for the fun of it. Bring joy into learning by removing measures and ROI. Learn because you enjoy it.

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Psychological safety: One effective approach is to provide opportunities for employees to practice and apply their skills in a safe and supportive environment. This can be done through role-playing exercises, simulations, or other hands-on activities that allow employees to practice their skills and receive feedback. Another effective strategy is to provide employees with regular recognition and praise for their achievements. This can boost their self-esteem and increase their confidence in their abilities.

Growth mindset: It is also important for L&D teams to focus on building a growth mindset, which is the belief that abilities can be developed through hard work and dedication. By fostering a growth mindset, L&D teams can help employees see their training and development as a continuous process, rather than a one-time event. This can help employees feel more confident in their abilities and more motivated to continue learning and growing.

In conclusion, building confidence is a critical component of personal and professional development, and it is essential for L&D teams to prioritize this aspect in their training programs. By providing opportunities for practice and application, recognizing achievements, fostering a growth mindset, and helping employees set and achieve goals, L&D teams can help employees build confidence and succeed in their careers.

Republished with permission and originally published at Abhijit Bhaduri’s LinkedIn

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