Management is a complex process, as employees can all have very different personalities. How they respond to things can vary greatly, so the first thing all managers should instil in their team is confidence. 32% of UK workers are afraid of putting their ideas forward, and one out of five would describe themselves as a ‘pushover’. Women in particular can struggle in this area: studies have shown that they are less self-assured than men.
Managers can apply the same techniques teachers and tutors use in a learning environment. Here, Anne Morris, founder of Peer Learning company Yipiyap, advises on how managers can emulate teachers to ensure everyone is feeling assured and effective in the workplace.
Raising your voice as a teacher rarely works. It might grab the attention of the audience, but it won’t help anyone concentrate or retain information. In the same way, it’s key for a business leader to stay calm. Manage your moods through apps like Headspace, take walks, have several deep breaths if you start to feel stressed. These are simple approaches but popular for a reason – they can work.
Your pupil or your employee might not know the answer to an equation or a business conundrum, but they have the right to their opinion. We all need to know our thoughts are valid, even if they are not the right answer to the problem at hand: only by being able to voice them and discuss them, will we have the confidence to have more.
This doesn’t mean we need to be all singing, all dancing cheerleaders to others. But we need to enthuse and give credit for getting things right. Telling someone they have done well is great – telling others they have done well is even better.
While the last 12 months have thrown more pressure upon all of us, it’s imperative that we don’t let that pressure impact on our work. That’s not to say we shouldn’t talk it or recognise its impact: quite the opposite. We should talk about stress, and deal with it, so that it doesn’t affect the way we deal with each other. Being consistently calm, listening and praising can still be done.
If someone doesn’t have confidence in themselves, and if people don’t show confidence in them, it can have a huge impact on their output. It’s up to all of us to help develop confidence in others. Someone else demonstrating their trust in you is the biggest confidence boost you can have, after all.