It’s easy to assume that someone who enlists in executive coaching services is a confident person. Not many people make it to the top without some degree of confidence and trust in themselves. But sometimes, confidence can be problematic and waver, even at the highest levels of leadership. Fortunately, executive coaching can help. Insecurity can rear its head even on the heels of major accomplishments, like being promoted to CEO. A person may wonder deep inside, “Am I ready for this?” But insecurity tends to counteract leadership effectiveness, by causing people to feel “stuck” and afraid to make a mistake. Executive coaching can help the leader face insecurities and develop his or her confidence in a healthy and productive manner.
Conquering New Challenges
There’s nothing like conquering something new to supercharge your confidence. And it doesn’t have to be something huge and life-changing, like scaling Mt. Everest. For some people, learning to speak effectively in front of an audience is a major challenge, while for others, learning to use a new type of technology presents challenges. Executive coaching equips leaders to identify challenges and define the steps required to meet them.
Whatever your age, identifying and conquering a challenge changes something about who you are. Unfortunately, too many people reach a point in adulthood where they’re uninterested in surmounting new challenges. True leaders may not like acknowledging a shortcoming, but they’re willing to work on overcoming it.
Learning to Say No (or Yes)
Some leaders are naturally conservative in their approach to new initiatives or ideas, and their tendency is to say “no,” unless there’s compelling reason to try something new. For these people, a boost in confidence can help them learn when it’s OK to take the chance and say “yes” to something new. On the other hand, so-called people pleasers have a hard time saying “no” to people, and that can be just as limiting. The person who can’t say “no” risks being spread too thin, and in the pursuit of pleasing everyone, ends up pleasing no one. Executive coaching helps both these types of people develop the confidence they need to reach beyond their usual responses.
Developing Personal Accountability
Blame, whether directed outward or inward, changes your focus from the actual situation. Accountability, on the other hand, is about empowering yourself to find solutions. When you demonstrate accountability, you are doing what you say you will do while setting an example for your team. When you expect accountability from your team and make clear that you have confidence in their ability to deliver, they’re likely to step up and do their best. And a culture of accountability is a culture of trust.
Speaking the Language of Confidence
Confidence comes through to yourself and to others through the words that you choose as well as your gestures, tone of voice, and expressions. Confident language is straightforward, without being harsh. It’s declarative and avoids “hedging” expressions, like appending, “right?” or “isn’t it?” at the end of sentences. Sometimes the way you word a question can inspire confidence too. Rather than saying, “Why can’t I ____,” saying “How can I ____,” expresses that you believe what you want to do is within the realm of possibility. When you’re used to confident language, you set a positive example and encourage your team to speak in positive, confident terms as well.
Executive coaching helps leaders develop their confidence in several ways. A great executive coach helps clients recognize that they have the power to develop their confidence, helps them recognize mental and emotional patterns that sabotage confidence, develop strategies for conquering new challenges, and speak and act with confidence so as to set a great example for others. Whether you’re interested in coaching for building self-confidence in leaders, or for developing other critical leadership skills, I hope you will contact me about my executive coaching services for C-level executives, directors, and managers. Let’s get the ball rolling on more effective, more confident leadership in your organization.