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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Self-Confidence - the difference between success and failure


Self-Confidence is often the major differentiator between failure and success – which is why it surprises me that we so often ignore what we could be doing to increase our own, or our team’s confidence. I'd go as far as to say that, certainly in the UK, anyone expounding their confidence too loudly and saying "I believe in me" would be labelled as arrogant rather than assured. Despite confidence's positive impact on personal and organisational performance. 

When I undertook my modelling project on negotiation I discovered that the major differentiator between a successful negotiation, and an unsuccessful one was the level of confidence someone felt before entering the negotiation room.

Not so unsurprising really when you think about it.

It leads us to then consider what benefit a 5% increase in confidence delivers? Or does the benefit only get interesting when confidence increases 50% or perhaps even 100%. Or is confidence on a more digital scale where we simply do or don't have confidence?

Confidence banishes a number of emotions and thoughts that hinder success, and delivers other characteristics that support our success. In and of itself not a guarantee of success, and yet something that certainly improves the probability of success.

Why bother some ask? And that's the crux of this post – I bother because it's the single biggest outcome of the coaching sessions I provide. I know that as a result of that increase in confidence my client is able to do something that they previously wouldn't have been able to do.

Confidence can banish, reduce or negate
  • Fear or dread
  • Doubt
  • Negativity 
  • Limiting beliefs
  • Comfort zones
  • Resistance 
  • Rigidity
Confidence can provide, enhance or support
  • Clear thinking
  • Clarity of communication
  • Creativity & innovation
  • Improved decision making
  • Motivation for action
  • Openness to change
  • Flexibility of approach
  • Ability to address or tackle issues head on
  • Joy for life
  • Self expression
All aspects that impact performance - on an hourly not just daily basis.

Confidence can wax and wane, and the key for anyone is therefore understanding what work's for them in getting confidence back when it's evading them.

Future posts this month will explore the processes for increasing our confidence.

What benefits does confidence provide you - please do leave your suggestions in comments below or on the LinkedIn discussion I started. More importantly what tools do you have in your toolkit for ensuring your, or your team's, confidence is available when it's needed?

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Unlocking Potential using unconventional tools 
alison@alisonsmith.eu +44 7770 538159

You may also find the postcard written to Procurement with love from confidence of interest - it's one of many postcards written from our soft skills brought together in the Purchasing Coach Soft Skills Toolkit. The toolkit provides an unconventional means of exploring soft skills and their development. 


The notes from a recent talk at a CIPS branch meeting on Soft Skills for Procurement Success, that used the toolkit as the content for the session, may also provide insight.

1 comment:

  1. Such an important topic. It's great how you list the qualities that confidence can bring—it's more powerful than some people may realize. Have you read the book Presence by Amy Cuddy? She also gave a TED Talk on the topic. There's a good amount of evidence supporting the benefits confidence brings, even clear thinking, which you mention. This practically makes it essential in business, and in life.

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