Jan 18th, 2022

Mentorship

Build Confidence

Written by: Jesse LaDousa, Chief Operating Officer

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In last week’s post, I ended by saying:

“When you’ve moved into a role in which you can mentor others, you must learn to be a leader, a coach, and a fan at the same time.”

One of the greatest things we can do for our teams is help them build confidence. As I’ve written in prior articles, we must allow people to fail in order for them to achieve the growth we know they are capable of.

However, one of the easiest patterns to fall into as a leader is one in which we move from problem to problem, solving issues and doing retrospectives to determine why the issue happened in the first place. Frankly, a good chunk of our jobs as leaders is to take on this role and help make decisions with often imperfect or incomplete information.

While these are valuable activities and needed, they are only one side of the equation. This side of the equation can be construed as the negative aspect of the role – addressing problems and determine why failures occurred.

The other, more often neglected side of the equation is the praise side. This is the side that builds confidence in individuals and really helps them grow. Ensuring both your team and the individuals that make it up know that you have their back when issues arise. This produces more positive outcomes than any negative retrospective ever could.

Moreover, celebrating individuals and teams as they meet milestones, garner accomplishments, and go above and beyond to help others in the organization will bolster confidence and help them begin to look for additional ways to leverage their skills in a positive manner.

Look for ways that the team can spread this positivity as well. Do you have a way for team members to point out other members that are going above and beyond? Do you have space in one of your larger team or company meetings that you can call out accomplishments? Accommodation needs to come from you as the leader but don’t forget to empower your team to do it on their own as well.

It’s your responsibility to coach them into a well-formed team. Part of being a really good coach also requires you to be their biggest fan.