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  • Writer's pictureRuss Hornfisher



Confidence is very important to the success of both individuals and organizations.

True Alpha’s are born with confidence, not to be confused with arrogance. An example of such innate confidence was displayed by Thomas Edison who after failing more than 1,000 times to find a functional filament for his incandescent light bulb, he continued to persist with his invention, stating that they were not failures; he had found over 1,000 materials that were not appropriate material for his incandescent light bulb filament. He had the confidence in both himself and his ideas not to falter in his quest. This is referred to as Natural Confidence

For those who are not born alpha, confidence can still be developed, but it requires work, when successful this is called Learned Confidence. Some of the tools that can be used to develop Learned Confidence are:

Training is a useful tool to improve confidence. Learning how correctly or efficiently performs routine job tasks helps build confidence. Identifying the most efficient method of performing an operation, then breaking that skill into small easy to train steps, which then is used to help train others which is often called benchmarking. Using Benchmarking knowledge broken down into small steps, training can be very effective at building learned confidence.

Practicing is the repetitive performance of an activity to ingrain and insure understanding of a skill or activity. The more often an activity is preformed the efficiently the activity is performed, and so too is the confidence.

Proofing is the activity of practicing for the unexpected. Once an activity has been learned under ideal conditions, then it is time to practice such activities under unusual adverse situations.

These are common techniques used in sport such as teaching a person the proper technique for holding a baseball bat, where to place hands on the bat, positioning the body, where feet should be positioned. This is all done utilizing proven techniques that have produced the best batting outcomes, which we call Training. After the novice batter understands the how to swing a bat then it is time to repeat the activity, “batting practice”. The newly learned skill is then repeated standing in the batter’s box swinging at pitch after pitch to become more comfortable and successful, thus called Practice. Once the skill becomes a natural comfortable routine, then it is time to practice under variable and adverse situation, taking batting practice in cold weather, with a variety of sun/shade positions, hitting sliders, curveballs, knuckleballs, etc., this is referred to as Proofing

This same technique is used to teach a person to swing a golf club, shoot free throws in basketball, driving a car, or even making sales calls.

People are more likely to repeat a behavior they feel confident performing and less likely when they lack confidence. If you want to increase the frequency an activity is performed, or the chances for a desired outcome of a behavior, building confidence is a very useful tool.

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