“Confident people are made, not born… And that means that Confidence is something you can build and strengthen for yourself!”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
Two Teachers – Two Approaches to Confidence: What do you think?
“Carly has clearly outperformed the other children in her spelling performance and she should be recognised for both her hard work and her achievement. Recognition will build her confidence and spur her on to keep working hard.”
“Carly won the Spelling Bee by a mile and knows it. She has had all the recognition she needs. The next child in line should also be recognised so Carly doesn’t get puffed up and John feels a sense of accomplishment too.”
This is not just a school-based attitude, it happens all the time in workplaces, too. I have heard managers use these same two arguments with respect to their teams, especially when it comes to sales personnel.
BUT… There’s a problem with both of these approaches. They place you at the mercy of the kind of manager you have, and their philosophy of recognition and praise.
That’s why my goal is to instill the kind of elemental confidence that is fueled every day by your own actions and responses and is not dependent on anyone else. Because even if people are not deliberately unkind, they’re busy – and often they just don’t stop to think about what kind of boost your confidence might need.
Four Stages of Confidence Building
Why do you feel nervous when you walk into a new job, client, or situation?
It’s usually not because you’ve lied about your experience and skill and don’t know how to do the things you’re claiming you can do, it’s because you (wisely) recognise that you’ll encounter some things that are different or challenging.
In my NLP courses I talk about the four stages of learning – and your confidence follows the same pattern:
- You don’t know what you don’t know. In this stage you are simply unaware of any gaps in your skill. Depending on your personality you might bound in filled with unfounded confidence or you might be scared and nervous because you’re expecting to have some level of ignorance exposed and you have no idea what that will be. Being ready to admit what you don’t know and tie it into what you do know will build your confidence because whatever it is, you know you can figure it out!
- You know what you don’t know. Now that you are aware of specific things that you know you don’t know, you can have confidence that you won’t be taken by surprise when those areas come up, you can even prepare some questions to help fill in the gaps in your knowledge which builds your confidence in two ways: first, you are prepared to admit your deficiency; and second, you know what you will need to learn and master.
- You know what to do, but it takes conscious effort to accomplish it. This is a big confidence booster because you know that you will succeed. It may be hard work, but you know what it will take and you’ve done it before.
- You are thoroughly familiar with this, and have a deep seated confidence in your ability to perform with effortless excellence. At this stage, your confidence is unstoppable! You have done this so many times, that you know that you will be successful.
That’s the kind of confidence that people who have attended my sales trainings and done the work achieve – they know, beyond any shadow of doubt, that any given sales conversation will end up as a win. Either the sale will be closed, OR both sides will realise that they are not a good fit for each other.
Yes, there’s still plenty to learn, but you can be sure of your ability to learn it, and confident that you know the stage you are in and are able to grow further.
Confidence and You
Did you know that confidence is one of the biggest indicators of success or failure in an activity at any stage of life?
That realisation amplifies the importance of getting this right, doesn’t it?
If you think about it, you probably know it’s true. You can remember times when you started out doing something hesitantly, and if no one encouraged you, you quickly gave up and decided you weren’t cut out for that pursuit so you quit. At other times you started with a great desire to learn that gave you the confidence to persevere and figure it out and set you on the path to mastery.
More than 80% of our communication is non-verbal, so even if your words express confidence, any inner hesitancy will communicate itself to your clients or colleagues. That’s why it’s important to be ready to ask for help and acknowledge the things you don’t know – other people will pick it up, even if you don’t tell them. And trying to pretend will only erode their trust.
As you can see, confidence is one of those things you simply can’t fake. Yet, many people are dependent on external affirmation and recognition to bolster their confidence and, particularly at work, that is often insufficient.
I first started running my Confident Closing workshops, to help people work towards stage 3 and 4 levels of confidence in sales. I quickly realised that there was an even greater need: the need to develop unstoppable confidence about every aspect of the sale – including your results and outcomes, your product, and your process.
The Confident Closing online program is designed to make every part of your selling process effortless… And it also ensures that you have everything in place in your business to make those sales profitable and delivery seamless.