Self-Confidence Competency – Tools & Strategies

Excerpt from Leading with Emotional Intelligence: Strategies for Building Confident and Collaborative Star Performers (2011), Chapter Three, by Relly Nadler

Confidence is the fuel that ignites other actions.

This section provides the tools and strategies to help you become a Star Performer in the area of confidence. Self-Confidence is a building block for success throughout one’s career and a key competency in the self-awareness cluster. A definition of confidence is illustrated with a research example about confidence-building, followed by a Star Profile of Henrik Fisker, one of the world’s leading car designers. Fisker shares 10 Secrets & Current Practices, which help him shine as a confident Star Performer. He also describes some of the pitfalls he encounters from actually being overly confident! We look at these over the next series of blogs.

The Coach’s Corner adds to what you’ve just learned with a selection of 10 powerful proven strategies used by a cross-section of top-notch executives and leaders for the development of confidence. Included are practical tools and a Star Performer Action Plan that will help you transform general ideas and concepts into tangible applications for guaranteed performance as a confident Star Performer.

What is Self Confidence?

Confidence is knowing one’s own abilities and having enough faith in them to make sound decisions in the face of uncertainty and pressure. A confident leader exudes a strong self-presentation and expresses himself or herself in an assured, impressive, and unhesitating manner. The confident leader will take on new challenges and hold on to his or her view, even if others disagree. (Goleman, 1998).

Emotional Intelligence Research Examples

A variety of studies have demonstrated the positive impact of confidence on performance. A high degree of self-confidence distinguishes the best from the average performers as supervisors, managers, and executives. (Boyatzis, 1982). Self-efficacy is a form of self-confidence; it is a belief in one’s own abilities to take on a difficult challenge.

In a study of 112 entry-level accountants, those with the highest level of self-efficacy at the time of hiring were rated as having superior job performance by their supervisors 10 months later, showing that self-confidence is a higher predictor of performance than is skill level or previous training (Goleman, 1998). In another study where more than 1,000 high-I.Q. men and women were traced over 60 years, from childhood to retirement, those who possessed self-confidence during their early years were most successful in their later careers (Holahan and Sears, 1995). In a longitudinal study of managers at AT&T, the expression of self-confidence early in one’s career also predicted promotions and success in higher management, years later (Howard and Bray, 1988).

Are you a Star Performer of Just Average?

Stars exhibit these average and Star behaviors consistently. Are these a habit for you? What do you need to do more of to be a consistent top performer? In coaching, I look for the few vital things persons can do more of and often say this is not a “make-over but a more-over.” Are you doing these behaviors regularly, consistently, or about 80% of the time?


  • Acts independently.
  • Is confident in his/her own ability.
  • Exhibits decisiveness.


  • Presents in an assured, forceful, impressive, and unhesitating manner.
  • Takes on challenges willingly. (Hay Group, 2001)


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