Teach Them to Fly, Part 2: Instilling Confidence and Courage


A little more than a year ago, I wrote a short post here about the importance of instilling confidence in the people around you. I used a vignette about my son to make the point — a little story about how he was still young enough to not care about what other people thought. And the business point was that the greatest gift we can give to our organizations and the people we work with is the courage that will come from your confidence in them. When we believe in the people around us, and have their back, and demonstrate that we take an interest in them, we can inspire confidence and courage. And that’s good for you and your colleagues and your organization.

You can read the original post here.

I stumbled across this post early this morning, and thought to myself that I had missed an opportunity with a follow-up post that I never wrote. I should have followed up that post with another one talking about the “how.” How do we instill confidence in the people around us? How do we give them courage and confidence?

As with most things I write about here, the concept is not complicated. We can instill confidence and courage in those around us by doing a few obvious things: We can give people clear roles, responsibilities and accountability. We can give them the freedom to do their job. We can take an interest in what they are doing, without getting in their way. We can say “nice job” when they deserve it, and clear feedback when they deserve that. We can cheer for them. We can give them the freedom to create and be wrong once in a while. We can listen.

In addition, we can instill courage and confidence by not doing certain things. We can NOT micromanage. We can NOT judge without merit. We can NOT criticize publicly or gossip about them with others.

Think about the environment that you love to work in. Think about how you want to be managed. Think about the things you appreciate in the people who lead and manage you. And then ask yourself if you create the same environment for the people around you.How do those two environments match up?

Teach your people to fly. Help them develop confidence and courage. They will love you for it.

Have a great day.

The Latimer Group will launch a new workshop for our clients in 2014 on Listening Skills and Followership. It would be our privilege to have you and your team join the discussion. To learn more, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com

 Photo: Craig Allen


One response to “Teach Them to Fly, Part 2: Instilling Confidence and Courage”

  1. Beata Dunn says:

    I agree; would add listen and act on their feedback – do not discourage but welcome comments, suggestions, and encourage your team being proactive and give them sense of contribution…

    Beata Dunn

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.