Soft skills development: training or resources on how to build confidence?

  • Heather YoungHeather Young
    Member since Sep 2022

      How can I best support / help / advance staff who have great technical skills but are lacking in self-confidence? Any recommendations for books, webinars, courses, consultants in this area?

      For example, they encounter a problem, and they have a pretty good idea of how best to proceed, but they ask their manager for confirmation. Or, they have a good idea but they’re reluctant to offer it during the meeting because they’re shy about speaking up. Or, an email to a client regarding missing info is poorly worded or incomplete or comes off as evasive or abrupt because they aren’t confident about how to word a request.

      We’ve been proceeding by reviewing work, offering feedback, reinforcing all the good stuff they do, helping with re-writes of emails, etc. I’m hoping for something more systematic. And something that lets them know the company wants to invest in their success! They are conscious that this is something that’s holding them back, and would really like to improve, and I want to make this happen.

      October 27, 2023 at 12:31
    • Lisa LocherLisa Locher
      Member since Sep 2022

        Hello Heather,
        In Edmonton, I’ve engaged with our post-secondary institutions (NAIT and U of Alberta). We offered support for employees to complete continuing education courses (business writing, or communications, or whatever the need) and we have also arranged for in-house training sessions (through NAIT) for our new leaders (a supervisory program).
        We have also worked with Dale Carnegie to offer their programs to employees that are not confident in public speaking – this was well-received.
        The nice thing is that these types of courses are often eligible for the Canada-Alberta Job Grant (I assume that the Canada Ontario Job Grant Program may be similar).

        October 29, 2023 at 21:25
      • Agnes TeperAgnes Teper
        Member since Dec 2022

          Hello Heather,

          Based on my experience, combining systematic approaches with individualized support, you can create a more comprehensive and effective program to support your team members. Here are some ideas:

          Mentorship Programs: Establish a mentorship program within the company, where experienced and empathetic employees or managers can mentor those who lack self-confidence. This one-on-one guidance can be invaluable in building self-assurance.

          Individual Coaching: Provide one-on-one coaching sessions for employees who need to improve their self-confidence. A mentor or coach can help them identify specific areas of improvement and work on strategies to overcome their self-doubt. You may consider bringing in external consultants or coaches who specialize in soft skills development or you may already have a leader who is an excellent coach.

          Soft Skills Workshops: Organize workshops or training sessions specifically focused on soft skills development, including confidence building, effective communication, and public speaking.

          Books: Research books that can help employees boost their self-confidence. Schedule a weekly check-in meeting to review their learnings, questions, and how they have utilized the skills. Some excellent choices include:
          – “The Confidence Code” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
          – “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown
          – “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers
          – “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain (for those who are shy about speaking up)

          Public Speaking and Toastmasters: Offer training in public speaking, as this can significantly boost confidence when presenting ideas in meetings. Alternatively, encourage participation in Toastmasters or public speaking clubs.

          Peer Support: Encourage employees to support each other in building confidence. Peer groups or networks can create a safe environment for sharing experiences and learning from each other.

          Recognition and Positive Reinforcement: Recognize and reward employees who show improvement in their self-confidence. Positive reinforcement can boost their self-esteem and motivation.

          Practice and Exposure: Encourage your employees to practice their soft skills and gain exposure by taking on small, manageable challenges that gradually build their confidence.

          Some employees may benefit from counselling or EAP program. There may be some underlying reasons for their lack of confidence. It might be specific experience, imposter syndrome, fear of failure, or other factors.

          Hope this helps.

          November 8, 2023 at 21:13
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