Key ingredients for building team confidence


In supporting some great people over the last 4 Olympic Games and building up to number five, team confidence is something I’ve spent a huge amount of time thinking about and helping out with. Growing confidence further, or repairing it when it’s broken, makes no difference – the challenge is about more of it. So, how would I be helping your team?

Confidence is always on the agenda

Confidence building work is a classic example of common sense that isn’t commonly applied. So, get ready to start thinking about using these simple things consistently to deliver impact!

The best teams I’ve worked with have always had confidence on the agenda. They don’t wait for it to go missing before looking to grow it and they don’t relax when they feel they’ve got loads of it.

This means regularly having conversations about a couple of things:

1. What we’ve done this week to cement existing confidence more fully.

2. What we’ve done this week to add to the confidence we’ve already got.

Simple ideas, I’d be helping you stick to, very regularly!

That’s a great starting point, especially when it’s built on some other key ingredients.

Reasons to believe…

Although the focus is on team confidence, the best teams are full of individuals who know it’s their job to have really robust personal confidence so they’re ready to lead the team by example from their own position of strength, and here’s how I’d be supporting you:

1. Lead with Confidence

Each person on the team would share 2-3 qualities to be using every day to help the team deliver success. These qualities have to be based on things you have most confidence in and have a proven track record of making a great contribution with. As well as sharing them, you’re ready to let the rest of the team know, with confidence (!), HOW these qualities will actually make a difference.

2. Help me be more confident in you

Next we’d get everyone on the team letting everyone else know how, “you can really make a difference to my confidence in the team’s success by…”. This is a real chance to support and challenge each other to make the most of existing strengths, as well as doing obvious things that grow confidence further. Think simple things here that make an important difference.

3. We’re all in this together

Finally, we’d identify 3 or 4 key actions or activities that everyone would be focused on carrying out with great consistency. Seeing each other doing these things regularly reinforces collective commitment to success, but also makes sure there’s some shared sources of confidence to keep coming back to and exploiting.

Embrace confidence!

In most teams, confidence isn’t talked about anywhere near enough. If you want to fulfil your team potential, break away from that norm and talk confidence, a lot!

So, your challenge is to make sure that your team is in charge of it’s confidence, not hoping to have it.

Use the 3 steps above to get talking confidence regularly. That’s when the fun will begin:

  • Point out the great impact of individuals leading with their strongest qualities.
  • Thank each other when stuff has been done that’s really made a great impact on your confidence in the team.
  • Make sure the team is regularly checking in with how well the shared actions are being delivered and what impact they’re making.

Make this part of your team’s DNA and confidence will be a given.