MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: How can more women leaders instill confidence in the workplace? is written by Robin Koval, president and CEO of Truth Initiative.
When you consider that 70% of all people, male and female, will experience imposter syndrome at some point in their careers, confidence building is clearly something that needs to be addressed in the workplace. I think of confidence as a “flexible” quality — one that needs to be constantly cultivated and nurtured especially by senior leadership. Let’s face it: no one is confident 100% of the time. Even Facebook (fb) COO Sheryl Sandberg has said, “There are still days when I wake up feeling like a fraud.”
The best way to build your business is to build up your people. Confident employees are self-motivated, embrace change, and often willing to take more risks. Helping your employees to be more confident is another example of a low to no cost success strategy, much like developing your grit, or embracing the power of nice. It pays huge dividends for employees and companies alike. Here are my top tips for creating a positive, confidence-inspiring work environment:
Bake a bigger pie
Create an atmosphere where people feel valued; fearful people are not confident. People who believe even the worst idea won’t get them kicked out of the room have freedom to be innovative, creative, and confident in their beliefs.
Value the little things
Focus on the little things and celebrate small victories often. Huge long-term goals can be frightening and seem unattainable. Don’t wait until the project is over to dish out the praise and break out the bubbly. A series of on-going success builds confidence in our abilities.
Lose the safety net
Become an over-preparer. Invest the time and energy upfront and you’ll stay ahead. “He was way too prepared for the meeting,” said no one ever. Confidence comes from preparation and always having a Plan B.
Get out of your movie
We are often fearful because we are afraid of how others will judge us. We think it is all about us. We need to realize that a) most times people aren’t judging us as harshly as we may think and b) if someone has given you an opportunity then they believe you can do it. Give yourself at least the same benefit of the doubt. Forget the imposter syndrome.