How do we inspire confidence, together?

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

October 14, 2013


Categories: One a Day, Post a Day 2013

As I consider how divided my time is, I’ve been wondering when and where I inspire confidence. I have about 5 buckets in which I dedicate the bulk of my time (no, sleep is not one of the buckets). In 2 or 3 of the buckets, I am confident I inspire confidence a large amount or all the time. But in 2 buckets, their focus has been pushed to the back of my radar, and I know, quite confidently, that I do not inspire confidence.

Then, as I consider the examples around me, I start get to get curious – how and where do we inspire confidence?

I’ve been watching someone in a role new to an organization I work with. This person has claimed years of experience at the task she is working on, but this person doesn’t inspire confidence. Some things this person espouses or creates seem spot on with the years of experience, but other things seem lacking and not well thought out. I have a periphery view, and I know that the work is being criticized – but from my vantage point – no matter how put together the task might actually be – the person is not inspiring confidence in delivery.

So, what does it mean to inspire confidence, and what can we do about it?

When I consider the things that don’t inspire confidence I usually go back to behaviors that seem ineffective or unsafe. For example, in another role, we are asked to consider our peers and whether we want to continue working with them. And, to the point that we will give a list of members where we say, “Yes, these are good members and we agree to work with them longer.” Well, a few of the members of this group have lacked in their duties. So, tonight, I even had to conversation with one – going back to the three or four things this person didn’t do that resulted in our lack of confidence.

Now, to complicate matters… on one hand, we, as a working group, want to trim the fat. We, and I mean the “ubiquitous” we, want highly functioning effective people who agree to do the jobs at hand. But, what happens when life intervenes?

In one instance, an individual has a slew of health problems that make the situation more difficult. In my personal space, in the places where I have failed to inspire confidence, I have taken on too much – or rather, I’ve felt compelled to finish off obligations without understanding or knowing how other roles would evolve and infringe upon time. There is only so much in a day, and when the eyelids droop, it makes it difficult to compare one more thing or write another email.

So, maybe the question isn’t so much – where do we inspire confidence, rather, where do we let our intuitions speak so that collectively we inspire confidence?

I always go back to this example of when my food club was running at its height. We had a group of people who grew to trust each other, they were highly intuitive, measuring each others needs against their own, and always wanting better for others than themselves. And, what happened was magical. A member would fail to inspire confidence and slack on their duties. Duties where they volunteered. And, other members said, “Stop. We love you. You’ve done enough. It’s okay to take a break. There are many more people who can do the job. They just need motivation to step up. But, it’s okay for you to step back now. And, when you’re ready, you can step up again.”

So, how can we inspire confidence together?


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