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Confident Performance

November 25, 2009

What’s the home field advantage all about? Confidence. Confidence improves performance.

What do you think it would be like to go to the office and find 80,000 people ready to boo you to oblivion? Probably not all that much different than waiting for your boss to second guess your every move.

The Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League recently played their first game in the new 80,000 seat Georgia Dome. During the inaugural festivities prior to the first game, the Atlanta coach commented that he hoped playing in front of the large home crowd would give his team confidence to win.

Do you think your performance, your enthusiasm, your stamina might be somewhat increased if you went to that office and you had 80,000 people cheering for you regardless of what you did? It can make a big difference.

Confidence is a key factor in maximizing performance. If you feel of the support of those around you, that confidence becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think you are working in front of 80,000 hostile fans or one mildly critical boss who’s ready to jump on your first mistake, it’s a little bit difficult to do your best.

What’s the message of the home field advantage? Managers can improve the performance of their employees by increasing their confidence. Let them know that they have your confidence and that will give them the home field advantage.

What are some of the ways that you can instill confidence? Look for opportunities to give credit and praise to your employees at any opportunity. However minor it may seem, it makes people feel good and builds morale.

Criticism of any sort needs to be handled carefully, because criticism of any sort undermines everyone’s confidence. The term constructive criticism becomes somewhat of an oxymoron when you are the recipient. No one likes to be criticized. Also, be careful about criticizing others whether it be superiors or subordinates in front of any employee. Their natural reaction will be, “If that’s what they’re saying about the others, I wonder what they say about me behind my back?”

Give others confidence by knowing that they can count on you. When you make promises, keep them.

Support your people in good times and bad, particularly the bad, that’s when the support means the most. It’s easy to give someone a pat on the back after a touchdown, but its more important to be there to support them after a fumble. Support your employees in the bad times and they’ll have the confidence to make the winning fourth quarter drive that will make both you and them go home with a smile.

Take the time to keep your employees informed about what is transpiring in the business that effects their job. A communications void breeds mistrust and insecurity, it won’t build confidence. If people feel that they have been kept informed and know what’s on your mind, they will be able to respond in a more self-confident manner.

Encourage your employees to speak their mind to you. When employees feel comfortable in expressing their opinions, that’s tangible evidence that they’re confident of your support and your trust in them.

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