David M. Kelley, founder of the breakthrough design firm IDEO. When asked by Fast Company about how he interviews candidates to determine if they would be a good fit for IDEO, Kelley talked about the need for a balance between confidence and curiosity.
“I’m looking for somebody who has a positive attitude and is confident enough to express their ideas,” he said. “They’re confident enough to disagree with me, confident enough to say what they think and paint a picture of the future as they see it. But at the same time, they’re questioning whether there is some better solution and whether they’re right or not. It’s this balance between confidence and questioning. This represents a kind of curiosity, an open, child-like mind of being enthusiastic enough to talk about their ideas—and questioning them enough to build on that idea rather than think it’s all done.”
I coach change leaders. And I’ve observed a pattern.
Curiosity comes naturally. Many have “learner” in their top 5 strengths.
Confidence, however, is where the battle lies.
It’s no surprise. You are leading change in complex and uncertain environments. There are no easy answers to be confident about. Asking questions. That can give you answers that make you even less confident about what lies ahead.
Whilst there are some tricks to build confidence. It's an inner game, perfect for a coaching conversation. Everyone's confidence is different. It doesn’t need to be loud and extroverted.
In Presence, Amy Cuddy talks about how you can adjust your body language, to build confidence. Before heading into situations where we know we will be challenged, we can reduce our anxiety by focusing on your strengths. This keeps cortisol – the stress hormone – in check. In her study on body language and power-posing, she concludes that how we sit, stand and act can either increase or reduce cortisol accordingly.
How do you develop confidence?
Reply and let me know your suggestions.