Having the confidence of your team is critical in leadership. People want a leader they can respect and trust, because it gives them the confidence that things are heading in the right direction.
But it’s not just your team that’s looking to you. It’s your colleagues and your own manager, too.
You need to inspire confidence in your leadership, if you’re going to be as effective as possible.
Here’s What Happens When People Have Confidence In Your Leadership
When people have confidence in your leadership, magical things can happen. Here’s just a few examples of the good things that come your way, when people believe in you.
1. It’s Easier to Align Your Team
When a team lacks confidence in their leader, they start to question the direction.
While it is helpful when team members have input into the strategy and direction of a team, too much input and constant questioning of the way forward can be damaging.
Without the confidence of your team, it takes longer to get everyone on board. And even when you think everyone is aligned, you might find the team just paying lip service to what you’re doing, but really still wanting to go another way.
Related article: The #1 Way That Leaders Damage Team Trust.
2. Your Boss Lets You Get On With Your Work
Having the confidence of your own boss is like gold. When your manager believes in you, they tend to give you more autonomy and let you run your own show.
A manager who lacks confidence in your ability will start resorting to micromanagement and will direct how you use your time. You’ll also need to work harder to justify your actions, as your boss questions your approach.
This is a bad place to be, because essentially, your boss is doing the work of two people and efficiency suffers.
3. You Gain Confidence In Yourself
When people around you believe in you, it starts to reinforce your confidence that you’re doing the right thing. If people are constantly questioning your motives or micromanaging you, your confidence will take a hit.
People who believe in you will look at you like you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t feel completely confident yourself. This can be a reinforcing cycle, where the belief that other people show in you, makes you feel even more strongly that you’re leading the right way.
Related post: How a Self Fulfilling Prophecy Will Make or Break Your Team.
Take These Actions to Inspire Confidence In Your Leadership
We’ve looked at why it’s so important for people to believe in you, and to be confident in your leadership. But what can we do to get there?
Here are some simple actions to take that will help you gain the confidence of the people around you.
1. Make a Plan
We’ve all heard the saying “Failing to plan, is planning to fail”. And what about “Measure twice, then cut once”? These are good phrases to remember.
Unfortunately, planning is boring. People don’t like to plan, because planning isn’t doing.
Planning doesn’t result in any tangible outcomes or results, it just gives you the plan.
However, planning does give you something that you might need. Planning helps people gain confidence in your leadership.
When you have a plan, it shows that you’ve taken the time to sit down and think about what you’re going to do.
A plan is really nothing much more than a communication tool, telling people what you think should happen next.
Others can then provide input into your plan and shape the future, allowing them to become invested and get on board with your ideas.
The best part is, your plan doesn’t even need to be perfect. The simple act of stepping back and stopping to consider the best way forward shows that you’re serious. And you’re taking the time to make sure you move forward in the best way you can.
Make a plan. Write it down. Keep it simple. Just do it.
Related article: The Importance of Planning and Why Leaders Can’t Ignore It.
2. Do What You Say You’ll Do
Want people to have confidence in your leadership? It’s important to do what you say you will do.
If you can’t deliver on what was promised, you need to let people know the reasons why. One of the biggest factors in building credibility in leadership is to show that your actions match your words.
Confidence in your leadership will build incrementally over time, as you gradually show that when you make a promise, you deliver on it as best you can.
People start to see that what you promise to do is actually a peek into the future, because you’ve shown yourself to be true to your word and what you promise, will come to pass.
On the other hand, making promises and then failing to deliver on them is a fast way to destroy confidence in your leadership. And to have people rolling their eyes whenever you talk.
Related article: 3 Ways to Build Your Leadership Credibility In a New Team.
3. Speak Up When Things Aren’t Right
We’ve all been in workplaces where silly things are going on. Where there’s an elephant in the room, but nobody is speaking about it.
During my consulting career, I came across this many times, especially in large, complex and highly political projects. Speaking up about bad things in your workplace is something that leaders should be well-placed to do, because they have authority, and the attention of the people around them.
The real trick is to speak up in the right way. Telling people they are stupid isn’t helpful. And slapping the CEO in the face isn’t a good move.
Leaders who speak up when others stay silent will build credibility, because they are essentially making a stand for what they believe is right, at the potential expense of their career and reputation.
Speaking up sends a powerful signal that the current situation is not acceptable.
How to Speak Up In the Right Way
- Be as constructive as you can. Point out the problems, but frame them in a way that shows you’re trying to improve the situation. Don’t just criticize, show a better future, as a reason for changing.
- Be respectful. Telling people they are stupid isn’t helpful. Using emotive language doesn’t help either. Attacking others will often get them offside, and you’ll start to build animosity and resentment. Try to attack the situation, rather than the person.
- Be prepared to be wrong. Sometimes it takes courage to speak up, because you don’t have all the information. You feel that something is amiss, but you can’t have all the answers. So be prepared that there may be some context you’re missing in the situation. Approach the situation with curiosity, and uncover the real story.
Speaking up in the right way is a key leadership skill, but speaking up is never a comfortable path.
Related post: Why You Need to Speak Up at Work, and Why You Don’t.
Related Resource: If you feel like you aren’t confident or comfortable having the difficult conversations you need to have in your team, Thoughtful Leader is here to help. Check out the Difficult Conversations eBook, to help you tackle the hard conversations sensitively and with confidence. Don’t avoid the difficult discussions… get the eBook today.
Confidence in your leadership is a valuable commodity. So make a plan, do what you say you’ll do and speak up when things aren’t right.
What are you going to do to start inspiring confidence in your leadership today?
What other actions do you think will inspire confidence in your leadership? Let me know in the comments below!
Alternatively, if you would like to ask a question or need some help, you can send me a private message through my contact page.