A few years ago I got to coach a newly promoted vice president of a local company.
The organization had a lot of confidence in this young man. As he and I talked, I realized he was struggling to develop that same level of confidence in himself.
He had literally grown up within the organization, first working there as a teenager in a non-professional role. I asked him to introduce himself to me as if we had never met. As he stated his title, he diverted his eyes, fidgeted, and lowered his voice. He was very uncomfortable calling himself a vice president.
I encouraged him to visualize putting on his vice president jacket and taking a deep breath as he raised his chin slightly and squared his shoulders. The introduction came out stronger then. “You deserve to wear this jacket; do so with confidence” was my advice to him.
Another coachee of mine also grew up in her organization and then took on one of its top roles.
After our first discussion, I envisioned the famous photo of the kitten who looks into the mirror and sees a lion. The difference is that she actually had the capabilities of the lion, but when she looked in the mirror she saw a kitten. She launched a journey of building the necessary confidence to bring the full power that she possessed to bear in her work. She shared this quote with me that summed up not only her personal challenge, but that of so many leaders in similar situations:
“It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.”
– Adlai E. Stevenson II
If you are also working to build your confidence, I recommend these two tactics:
1. Imagine yourself possessing and projecting the confidence you desire.
See and hear yourself being poised and assured. Not arrogant, but trustworthy and capable. Dress in a manner that boosts your belief in yourself, and pay attention to your posture and tone of voice. Speak and act confidently and let your feelings follow. In the words of Amy Cuddy, “Fake it until you become it.”
2. Allow yourself to believe what others are saying about you.
When you receive a compliment, be intentional about accepting it. Rather than deflect it, look the person in the eye and graciously thank them. Take their words to heart and let them contribute to your belief in yourself.
Written by: Sandy Tush, Partner – Milestone Leadership
Executive Coaching can have a transformative effect on building a leader worth following.
We work with professionals at various organizational levels, at different stages of their careers. Every coaching relationship is unique and focused on the individual coachee to uncover capabilities and build upon strengths.
When working with Milestone Leadership, coachees will:
- Create an executive-focused Individual Development Plan
- Receive advice and perspective from experienced coaches who have excelled in leadership roles
- Grow personal strengths and improve relevant development needs
- Learn how to lead with personal and organizational values
Our Milestone Leadership Coaching Process:
- Build partner-based relationship, grow trust, establish rules of engagement and align values
- Establish strong awareness through individual assessment; create a vision and identify gaps
- Agree on priorities, then leverage the individual’s strengths with the coach’s support to develop goals through an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
- Support growth by challenging and regularly reassessing plan
- Deliver results with the outcome of accelerated growth in professional and personal development