The HR Juggler

In Confidence….Sssshhh!!

Posted on: February 14, 2011

Walking back home from school this morning I chatted to one of my friends, who was worried that her 5 year old boy was losing a bit of confidence and not thriving at school. She was reassured when we talked it over, but it reminded me of how precious a gift self-confidence is, both in children as they develop their sense of self and belonging, but also in adults and in the workplace.

For an HR Professional, confidence is hugely valuable.  Being able to give advice, deal with disputes, determine policy, manage difficult conversations and set direction for the team and for the business all require confidence, self awareness and self-belief. I don’t mean confidence in the sense of arrogance or even being very gregarious and outgoing; rather, the quiet assurance that you are doing a good job, advising the correct course of action and making a valuable contribution to the business. Confidence breeds confidence; when you are assured in your approach, others feel comfortable in their dealings with you.

When your own confidence is lost, it can be painful. TinyBeanHR wrote a heartfelt blog over the weekend about how she felt things had gone wrong in her workplace and how unconfident she felt as a result. I don’t believe for one minute that she is alone in her moments of self-doubt – we all have experiences in our professional or personal lives that can severely dent our self-belief and inner assurance. 

Confidence is precious and yet taken for granted most of the time. It is only when we lose it, albeit temporarily, that we truly appreciate it and think with horror of how difficult life would be to negotiate without it.

2 Responses to "In Confidence….Sssshhh!!"

S’funny you talk about confidence. I often tell my delegates confidence is a lie. Confidence isn’t a trainable or learnable quality. The other things like you mention help give us that sense of being confident. Doing a good job, giving the right advice, hearing a problem, making a valuable contribution – they all allow someone to feel and understand what it means to be confident.

The thing about making mistakes is that you learn to be more confident the next time. Because you’ve now got two different experiences. One says, this works well. The others says, but be aware of this. And together they mean you have a better chance of doing the right thing.

Very nice post Alison.

I think you’re right that confidence can’t be learned as an adult and that there is no magic silver bullet for finding it. Personally I believe that innate self-confidence is instilled in you as a child and is as a result of the environment you have grown up…but I did try not to steer into that territory as it is beyond my skillset really 😉

I also think that people can ‘project’ confidence when they don’t necessarily feel it underneath…hence your point about it being a lie I guess.

Interesting comment and got me thinking further, thanks Sukh!

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