building confidence

February 3, 2010

10 Ways Easy for Managers to Empower

There are many, many ways that a manager can empower those in their team. The value comes from enlightened individuals freed up to express themselves through the release of their potential.

And you are the one to do it.

Almost any situation where you let an individual express themselves freely, through the contribution they themselves make, is through helping them to be empowered.

Empowerment unleashes many opportunities for individuals to develop, grow and come to fruition, bring a host of new resources to the team, organization and the results they produce.

Here are some of the ways that you can offer the gift of empowerment to your people. Remember, you are limited only by your ability to be creative in what you offer your people as ways to build them up.


If you’ve been keeping up with the lessons, you will know that delegation is one of the best ways to empower employees.

Through giving up tasks of your own to others, with support at first, you will build confidence; develop skills as well as free up your own time too.

2.Say No

When asked to do something that you know they could do just as well, finding ways to say ‘no’ and support them to be able to do the task will make them feel able to do more in the future.

3.Say Yes

As your people try more on and develop themselves, be prepared to take risks on them.  Whilst they will need to understand that you will be generous when things go wrong, that should not put you off saying ‘yes’ to them when they want to try something new.

4.Ignore Them!

A favorite tactic! When you work closely with people, ignore them sometimes when they get frustrated or get things wrong. Rushing to their assistance is often the least effective way for them to succeed for themselves.


By asking questions, hearing answers and facilitating their own ability to find solutions for themselves, you will go a long way to empower. Remember, empowerment is about them building confidence. Nothing does this more than when they are helped to find their own solutions.

6.Let Go of How

Now, when you do give them the freedom to do your stuff sometimes, you have to be able to let go of telling them everything about the way they are to reach the solution. By letting go of your own ‘how’ you give them the opportunity to find their own.

7.Praise and Thank

It’s sometimes difficult to have a sense of how you are doing, so it’s important for you to tell people that are doing well. By reinforcing their belief that they are being successful, you will encourage them, which is, after all, empowering in itself.

8.Seek Opportunities

And you can get creative with people to empower them! Take your role as one where you spend some time each day coming up with ideas to grow your people’s view of themselves. It’s a worthy activity for you – after all, your role is to manage and develop your people.

9.Help with Learning

Employees like to be challenged and may be reluctant to show that they don’t know the way to do things. If you can show them how they can learn, they will be encouraged to do more of it, opening the door to empower themselves.

10.Treat Mistakes/Failings Generously

Empowerment is all about building confidence – that’s its purpose, so when things don’t quite go to plan, it’s important not to ruin all the good work by reacting negatively when what’s needed is support and encouragement.

The gift of empowering others is one that is rich indeed, changing lives along the way for the good, you bring opportunities for new successes for your team too.

What could be a better win-win than that?

Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Developing Your People, Management Basics, Managing Me by Martin

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December 9, 2009

How Your Employees Are Doing Their Best

Managers always want the best from their people and that means that they expect them to deliver results to the criteria agreed.

Where their people fail to show up with the outcomes they want, that can mean that failure is so often the only way to describe what happened.

Savvy managers understand that when things don’t go to plan, there are opportunities to learn and grow for those involved, because most employees want their actions to deliver successes, yet they are keenly aware that there will be times when this simply does not happen.

Depending on their experiences, individuals have varying comfort levels with their line manager, such that they will fear failure or appreciate an opportunity to improve to achieve the standards and results expected.

It’s important for managers to understand that however an individual performs is likely to be their best shot this time round. Most employees want to succeed, if not for their manager, for their own sense of pride of achievement too.

Not meeting the desired outcomes can be a painful experience for an employee, so it’s vital that managers recognize their efforts, even where they have fallen short.

Failing to do this is likely to heighten an employee’s sensitivities and confidence such that they may freeze in future, creating even worse performance.

One key action a good manager will take will be to investigate whether they themselves might have done anything differently to help their employee become successful.

By accepting that they can learn and sharing that with the employee who has not achieved the standards required, will help that employee too.

No-one is perfect. Everyone tries to be. Individuals need support to understand that imperfection is allowed and ultimately, doing their best and then learning to be even better is often the best we can hope for.

And doing their best and growing in a fertile learning environment is often enough.

Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Developing Your People, Management Basics by Martin

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November 2, 2009

Confidence – The Holy Grail?

Giving your employees confidence is absolutely crucial in assisting them to reach their potential at their jobs, because having confidence probably affects job performance (and thus satisfaction) as much, if not more, than any work component.

Having the confidence to do the job well also makes a significant difference to turnover rates and absence, particularly in highly stressful roles. So, it’s a great skill to develop!

There are some great ways to help build the confidence of your people and you are able to deliver them all! Here are six easy ways you can build confidence in your team members – why not try one or two this week?

1. To start with, by offering them effective training opportunities before they begin their jobs, they will be able to hit the ground running and feel good about themselves and their contribution from the start. When you are able to continue to offer relevant training to challenge and expand the capabilities of them, their confidence will soar as they grow in their job!

2. As a manager, giving constructive feedback is very helpful to your employees, whether it be how to do a particular task in a more efficient way, or just encouraging them on a job well done and how they might be able to complete a task even better in the future.

3. And to really boost their confidence, it’s as easy as noticing what they have done, taking the time to say ‘thank you’ and commenting positively on their accomplishments from time to time.

4. Where appropriate, offering specific incentives – prizes even – is another great way to develop employee confidence further as well as enabling your team to have some fun along the way as well!

5. As a precursor to building confidence, every one of your employees needs to feel comfortable doing their job. When they feel insecure at all, they are less likely to do the task well and failing will only cause a loss of the confidence they have built.

6. When you are a manager and you have a team under you it’s vital to be approachable. You will encourage your people to take ownership of their work and feel some pride in doing their job well, without the fear that they are going to feel inadequate if things don’t quite go to plan. If they are intimidated by you, they are unlikely to be as productive because they will fear trying new things out. Those very new tasks that when they are successfully accomplished, will rapidly develop their confidence and encourage them to try more.

Employee confidence is probably the most essential asset to the success of your team. When your people feel confident, they do their jobs much better, are prepared to take on new challenges and above all, enjoy the work they do with you, building loyalty and commitment, which these days, are very valuable commodities in themselves.

Filed under Blog, Developing Your People, Managing Me by Martin

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March 10, 2009

Quick Thinking Required!

I’m fascinated by productivity. Making things actually happen, instead of pondering endlkessly is a huge step forward for any manager.

When I was in Australia recently, I met up with Dr Ken Hudson, from The Speed Thinking Zone. Ken’s premise is that things take way too long and there is a better way.

Hudson’s Law of Meetings

February 27, 2009

In 1955, Cyril Northcote Parkinson suggested, in a tongue in cheek way, what has since become known as Parkinsons Law. It states:

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

I would like to suggest that this be updated for meetings in what i have called Hudson’s Law of Meetings:

Meetings expand to the time set for the meeting.

Think about it. Have you ever been at a meeting when someone says, well we have the meeting room booked for the next hour why don’t we stay till then. Why should you? If the meeting is over the meeting is over.

Why do most of us feel guilty about having a shorter meeting or one that finishes early? In a recent workshop we covered all we had to do and i suggested that we finish early. One person started to complain about this.

Why I asked?

Why don’t you use the extra time to go to the gym or see your kids or go to a movie?

If Hudson’s rule is valid then we should think seriously about the amount of time we spend in meetings. Why are all our meetings at least one hour? Why aren’t these half an hour?

Imagine how much time you could free up and how more productive and enjoyable your life could be.

Ken Hudson

Ken’s thinking is fast paced, as you might expect. I like his stuff and I want to know more, despite Australia being quite a hike from where I am.

I think you might like to check it out too, right here at The Speed Thinking Zone

Filed under Blog by Martin

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