Top 11 Ways to Develop Leadership Confidence at Work

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 6, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Leadership often requires confidence. Developing the confidence to lead a group of professionals may involve completing courses, training programmes, and practicing skills. Learning strategies to develop this type of confidence may improve your leadership abilities and allow you to contribute to your team and organization more effectively. In this article, we discuss 11 ways you can develop confidence as a leader.

Related: What Are the Differences Between a Leader vs. Manager?

11 ways to develop leadership confidence

Here are 11 ways to develop leadership confidence, with a description of each:

1. Define your purpose

To develop confidence as a leader, you may explore know what you want to achieve. The clearer you are about this, the more confident and determined you can be in achieving it. For example, if you want to lead your team to improve sales performance, you may confidently assign tasks and lead conversations that help your team achieve this goal. In this situation, your confidence can arise from knowing you're focusing on achieving your main objectives with your team, contributing to the overall productivity of your organization.

Related: Essential Leadership Skills on Resumes (and Tips to Improve)

2. Reframe failure

Failure is a part of being a leader, as it is an inevitable part of achieving goals. You can develop leadership confidence by framing failure in a positive way. For example, if you fail to achieve your main objectives because you were unable to acquire the resources you needed to be created by another team, consider framing this in a more positive way by applauding your team's ability to have all of their required resources.

An alternate framing is that at least you tried and put forth your best effort. You can also see going forward how you can prevent similar failures from occurring in the future. This approach can help develop leadership confidence and motivate you to succeed next time.

Related: Eight Leadership Situation Examples to Discuss in an Interview

3. Learn from other leaders

Learning strategies to improve your leadership confidence may include learning from other leaders. For example, you may learn how to inspire and encourage a team by observing your team's managers or by reading a book written by an established leader in your industry. You can also see what works for others and apply this to yourself, focusing on the talents and strengths that you have to lead others effectively.

For example, if you work as a sales manager, you may watch online video presentations from other sales managers to see how they lead their sales associates. This may include using monetary incentives and fun activities.

Related: Guide to Leadership Change (Uses and Key Elements)

4. Get support from peers and mentors

Part of developing confidence as a leader is understanding that you can ask for help if needed. That's not to say you always rely on others for help, but it means that sometimes asking for help can be beneficial for achieving goals. For example, you may receive mentorship from an executive in your company on how to lead your team more effectively as they have experience working in your role and other leadership roles.

You can also present certain ideas to your peers and ask how you can improve them or make them better. For example, you may show a budgeting presentation to accountants and finance managers in your organization before presenting it to the board. This can be helpful as they may provide useful insight specific to their expertise, providing you with confidence to provide factual and complete information as a leader.

Related: Supervisors vs. Team Leaders (Definitions and Differences)

5. Use constructive criticism

One way of developing leadership confidence is by using constructive criticism, which is a form of feedback that focuses on providing specific suggestions for improvement. This type of feedback empowers leaders to become even better at what they do and can improve their confidence in their skills and abilities.

For example, you may discuss areas of potential improvement in your leadership style during a meeting with another leader. If you have a more relaxed leadership style, they may provide suggestions about making firm deadlines with your team to provide additional motivation to improve productivity.

Related: The Importance of Leadership (With Essential Skills)

6. Build working relationships with others

Building relationships is a proven way of developing leadership confidence and contributing to a successful team environment. For example, you can develop working relationships with your peers by building trust and understanding how your strengths and weaknesses contribute to the success of your team. Also, you can help others by knowing about the interests and backgrounds of the people on your team, which can help you understand their needs.

You may use icebreakers and games to get to know your team initially. After that, you may use natural conversations about their interests and personal lives to develop closer relationships. You may discuss their professional goals and aspirations to continue relationship development.

Related: Understanding the Contingency Approach to Leadership

7. Show sincere appreciation

Showing gratitude is an important way to develop leadership confidence as a leader. Sincerely showing that you appreciated certain things other leaders do for you may increase their trust in you as a leader. This type of feedback makes sure people feel valued by their leaders, which can help them feel more confident showing respect to those leaders as well.

For example, you can thank people on your team for their hard work on a recent project that required them to work overtime, which can make them feel valued as individuals for their contribution to the team. This feeling of appreciation may encourage them to put forth more effort in the future.

Related: What Is Ethical Leadership? And How to Be an Ethical Leader

8. Be empathetic

Empathy is a skill that contributes to developing leadership confidence as a leader. This type of leadership skill helps you feel understood by others, which can elevate their confidence in you and create trust. It can also help you manage conflicts and poor performance with a high level of understanding.

For example, if you observe another leader having a difficult time managing their team, you can empathize by acknowledging the leadership challenges that they deal with on a regular basis. This shows your understanding and empowers them to continue performing well as a leader.

Related: What Is Innovative Leadership and How Do You Learn It?

9. Share your knowledge and experience openly

Sharing information with others is one way of developing leadership confidence. Your team may not always have all of the information they require to do their job effectively, which is why they need leaders to help provide this information. Sharing this information can help you develop confidence as a valuable source of information and expertise.

For example, you may share your knowledge of specific software with your team to help them improve their productivity when using it. This may cause them to approach you with other IT issues in the future, providing you with confidence as a leader in this regard.

Related: What is Leadership Power? (And Types of Leadership Power)

10. Record yourself in meetings and during presentations

Recording yourself in meetings and during presentations helps you review your leadership skills and strengths. This type of feedback enables you to become more aware of how your team perceives you, which can help you improve any areas that need improvement. For example, if you notice that you have many pauses in your sentences where you say words like "um," you may work to reduce the number of times that occurs.

Related: What Is Leadership Influence? (Including Examples)

11. Encourage others to succeed

Encouraging others to succeed is another way of developing leadership confidence. If you take the time to recognize that you have helped someone overcome obstacles and achieve their goals, it may allow you to develop more confidence as a leader today. For example, if one of your team members was recently promoted for helping another team member with a difficult project, you may feel increased confidence in your ability to help others succeed in your organization.

Benefits of developing leadership confidence

Here are some benefits of developing this type of confidence:

  • Increases your motivation as a leader: When you develop this type of confidence, you may increase your motivation to help others achieve the same level of success that you are enjoying. You can lead with a high degree of integrity in your decision-making, which may motivate you and others to achieve their goals.

  • Helps you develop trust in yourself and others: Developing leadership confidence is also a great way to improve your relationships with others in your organization. When you are willing to take risks and make changes, it leads to people trusting you as their leader.

  • Allows you to lead a highly skilled team: Leaders with confidence can lead teams with expertise in their field, providing unique insight and advice even to those with decades of industry experience.

Explore more articles