The Mindful Manager: Inspire Confidence

The Mindful Manager: Inspire Confidence

When I arrived at high school wanting to play quarterback, the first leadership lesson the coach gave me was to memorize this statement: “A leader is a driving enthusiastic individual who inspires confidence in his teammates”. That was years ago, and I thank the coach for that first formal leadership lesson. It has carried me through many challenging moments – often trekking a precipitous staircase with employee behavior and development in my leadership career.

Inspiring confidence is an effective quality of leadership. It’s not perfect, but managers are leaders and can influence people for better performance. They have more motivating influence than they realize. Managers can guide and positively impact character and performance. It does not matter what type of industry. It is not gender specific. Managers see people, not as objects or projects but valued contributors who can make a difference.  The best managers are transparent, know how to serve others, listen to their needs and best utilize their truest capabilities.

Gallup has determined that the direct line manager or supervisor is the primary ingredient for employee retention. Employees stay or leave – in most cases – because of management quality and the motivational style of their manager. An employee’s confidence can sink deeply because of a manager’s poorly executed communication, inapproachability, and misplaced work roles for the team.

Confidence and hope can weaken for employees for a variety of personal and work reasons. Mangers play a trusted advisor role by being available to discuss employee needs and goals. They help restore this lack of confidence by sharing a bigger picture of what values are vital for excellence and how the employee truly contributes.  Verbalizing stories on how a successful company’s outcomes meet personal, employee and customer sense of mission is welcomed.  Employees who connect a meaningful company purpose with their work stay more engaged. Confidence can rise again!

Inspiration does not improve from providing ping-pong tables; dress down days, and childcare to your employees. Inspiration comes from genuinely caring for eachemployee and understanding their talents, skills and knowledge for becoming more than they are. “Production hound” managers burn people out by micro managing, finding fault for every employee mistake, and seldom recognize excellence.   They are quick to spot mistakes and judge performance on unrealistic company measurement profiles.

As a manager, confidence in your employees comes from genuinely believing they can finish a project, a task, and fulfill their role – effectively and efficiently. Managers believe in the proven, unique and remarkable strengths of every team member. Each employee has incredible talent to be leveraged properly for successful outcomes. A manager looks for the “right” talent and helps the employee capitalize on their best work. They also help the employee manage their weaknesses.

The most successful managers are humble, patient, creative, kind, not self-seeking and forgive mistakes. They never brag about themselves, but they will boast about their team about every employee’s incredible value. They can generate a climate of strengths appreciation, a positive partnered work environment, on-going recognition, and accommodate idea development. Every employee comes to the table to provide their appreciated and desired talent to the overall success of the team.

The game changer: managers, stay true to themselves and use their natural talents to influence. Confidence is driven with positive support; setting the momentum and energy for focused employee engagement.

It’s worth the return on employee confidence when they have a manager who sincerely takes notice of each employee’s strengths and leads them in a work role to utilize their strengths.  This style of attention, availability, care and navigation transforms the working title of manager to “coach”.  Employees today respond well to coaching.

Managers, you can be a coach and inspire confidence in your teammates! Help your team climb those stairs with purpose and excellence.

An ancient wise king aptly stated, “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up”.

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