How to Manage an Underconfident Person
Building Higher Levels of Self-Belief in Others
"That was an amazing presentation, Noah. Well done!" says Kat. Noah sighs and shrugs his shoulders.
"It went badly. I messed up and nobody was even listening," he replies. "It was a complete disaster."
"Are you kidding?" Kat says, in disbelief. "Everyone was riveted. You captivated the audience – you could have heard a pin drop. Didn't you notice?"
"You're just saying that," replies Noah, eyes to the floor. "I'm just terrible at presentations."
Some people limit themselves at work because of their extreme lack of confidence, no matter how talented they are. And there's nothing more frustrating for a manager than knowing how much potential a team member has, but feeling powerless to bring it out.
Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, helping us to achieve more and to find success. Yet so many of us struggle with it. Sadly, this can become a vicious circle: people who lack self-confidence can find it difficult to become successful, which can diminish their confidence levels even more.
In this article, we'll define "underconfidence," consider the ways that it can manifest itself at work, and then look at the steps that managers can take to support team members in building their self-belief.
What Does Underconfidence Mean?
Self-confidence is the term used to describe a person's perceived capability to perform at a certain level. When you have confidence in yourself, you know what you're good at and the value that you add to your team, department or organization. Moreover, you consistently behave in a way that conveys this to others.
Conversely, underconfidence is when you have low trust or faith in your abilities, irrespective of the results that you achieve. People who have very little self-confidence often also have low self-esteem, which compounds the issue even further.