My daughter received her G1 licence last Friday. She was over the moon thrilled. She had a smile from ear to ear until I threw her the keys and said “ok kiddo drive us home.”
Her smile quickly evaporated and was replaced by panic and fear. She started to protest against her own ability, saying she wasn’t ready, that she needed more mall parking lot practice.
Her insecurity had reached a fever pitch.
I simply smiled and said “I would never I ask you to do something I didn’t believe you could do, you’re ready” – that was enough to get her behind the wheel.
Still slightly nervous, I started to give her some direction:
- ok, adjust the mirrors.
- We are going to turn left out of the parking lot.
- We need to get in the next lane so put your signal on, check your mirror and shoulder check.
- We’re turning right at the red light, come to a full stop, check on coming traffic and if clear, go ahead.
I could see my daughter’s confidence reappearing with each successful action. With that I stopped providing direction and started asking her what she needed to do. With every answer she gave, her confidence grew.
By the time we got home she was a different person – confident and assured in her ability to drive. She said “thanks for making me do that.”
As leaders, whenever we ask our people to do new and unfamiliar tasks, often (and silently) they will question their abilities resulting in hesitation and insecurity. In these situations their confidence will come from you, the leader.
So as a leader, give it to them. Tell them you believe in them. Help them get started by giving specific direction. Encourage their progress.
Everyone at times needs to know someone believes in them so they can believe in themselves.
Who needs to know you believe in them?
PS: my daughter has driven everyday since then.