I think that an employee’s confidence at work is somewhat like a balloon.

It is the supervisor’s job to continually help inflate the balloon or it will wither.  Adding compliments, coaching moments, or even just noticing the employee/their work is like adding air into the balloon.

If the supervisor makes a negative comment about the employee/their work, it acts like a pin prick into the balloon.  It only takes a tiny pin hole of doubt for the employee to second guess and have their confidence start to leak way.

If an employee gets too much air (ie: cocky) the balloon will burst, but more latex withers out than pops.  The same is true in the work world.

Pay attention to how you are helping inflate your employee’s confidence instead of deflating it.  It takes a lot of air continuously put in to compensate for even a pin hole of letting it out.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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