The 5 key points Harold makes are:

1. It's mostly about mindset
2. Infuse objectivity
3. Turn up the coach's voice
4. Be more accessible
5. Let the student teach

Ask your question: http://www.drharoldhillman.com/ask-harold-show.html

YouTube Link: How to Build Confidence in Others | Episode 12

Ask Harold Episode 12 Transcript:

Today I’ll answer a question from a viewer who struggles with how to help people on her team when they start to lose confidence. So let’s get in to it.

Hi everybody, Harold Hillman here. And thank you for joining me on episode 12 of Ask Harold. Today’s question is from Paula: she says she’s struggling with how to help people on her team when they start to lose confidence. Paula writes:

Hi Harold,

My question is about an individual on my team who is losing confidence to do some of the basics around his role. We want people to be confident enough to push into things that get in our way. We can’t do that without confidence, and yet I realize that, over the years, I have struggled to help people who have started to lose their confidence.

I hate to admit it, but I actually lose patience. Now I’m faced with the challenge once again, so I want to lean into this as an opportunity.

What’s the best way for me to approach this challenge? How can I help my team member become more confident?

Many thanks,


Great question, Paula. As a team leader, the one thing that you can count on is somebody occasionally losing their mojo, where they go into a bit of a tail spin because they don’t believe that they can do something. Every team leader will eventually face this challenge, so thanks for being the one to ask about it, Paula.

Here are 5 things that I’d like for you to think about:

1. First: it’s mostly about mind set. When someone loses confidence, it’s almost always the case of mind over matter. In this case matter is the skill-set or the capability that we know is there – that’s why we hired the person in the first place. But a few bad experiences can often play havoc on the mind where the person begins to doubt their own ability to do something that you know they can do. We’ve all been there.

2. Secondly: infuse objectivity. This is an important step. In some respects, the person has become a bit irrational. They’ve become irrational about what they can do. They’ve blown the challenge way out of proportion. That’s one thing that typically happens when a person starts to lose confidence.

The other thing is that they begin to minimize their own capability to do the job. Just because of one bad incident, they start to discount all the positive experiences they’ve had doing similar things. You have to get in there and remind them: the challenge is not an overwhelming task and you DO have the capability to do this.

3. Thirdly: turn up the coach’s voice. Keep telling the person that you believe in them. Keep pushing them back out there with your tangible support to give it another go. Whether it’d be a tough conversation they have to have with another person, or leading a thorny negotiation, or putting a project plan together. Whatever it is, keep reminding the person that they can face into this challenge.

4. The fourth thing: just be more accessible. Stay close to the person, but not to the point where you’re hovering over them. That’ll defeat the whole person. If you know that a person is going to face a rough patch that may knock their confidence back, then make yourself available and accessible so that they can pick your brain; or you can drop in with some specific tips that may make a difference.

Don’t put people in the stretch and then walk away from them. Be more accessible.

5. And then finally: let the student teach. If someone’s on a learning curve and they’re getting it but you want them to master it quicker, try this strategy: put them in charge of teaching it to someone if they’re really capable. It’ll show two things: number one, you believe in them; and then secondly, you know, they have no choice but to back themselves which is what’s required when you have to show someone else the ropes. And you will definitely see a surge in confidence with that strategy.

So, thanks for that question, Paula, and thank you all for watching Ask Harold. On the next episode I’ll answer a question from a viewer who has to do performance management with her team. This is more common than you may think.

Remember: if you like this video, tell others about it and subscribe to Sigmoid’s YouTube channel. And if you have a question of your own, or want to see my other videos and articles, go to my blog at www.drharoldhillman.com

Take good care and see you all soon.