Building Team Confidence for Success

When team members lose confidence in their ability to complete their tasks successfully or to make change in their workplace; performance, motivation, and morale suffer.

Team members don’t lose confidence overnight. Similarly, team confidence is not built in a day. It is a gradual process, where each positive experience builds to develop into real confidence.

A confident team will need to rely less on their leader to make decisions in their role, knowing that they’re on the right track. This means more time for both you and your team to focus on what matters and engage on the bigger issues that need solving.

Team confidence creates an environment where people aren’t afraid to speak up. The voice in the head changes from “Are you sure that’s right?” to “I’m sure something’s not right here.”

What creates a confident team?

Firstly, they believe that they can perform their work well and that when they put their mind to a task, they’ll be able to succeed. This is called self-efficacy.

Secondly, confident team members have high self-esteem. This means that they believe in themselves and that they are a valuable member of the team.

What can cause a lack of confidence?

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of constructive feedback
  • Micromanagers
  • Fear of failure and the consequences
  • Not using skills and the feeling of going backwards
  • Negative attitudes

What to do to boost both self-efficacy and self-esteem

Delegate step by step

When someone lacks confidence and competence you need to set realistic expectations. Your job is to help them set reachable goals and to break difficult tasks into smaller steps. Ensure you gradually give more responsibility and give coaching and support until they no longer need you. In that way, people slowly but surely gain confidence as they start to master each step of the assignment.


Once they have the confidence to go it alone, get out of their way and let them get on with it. Checking in too often and nit-picking will only destroy the confidence you have both worked hard to build.


Show your team your support

One of the best ways to boost confidence in your team is to actively support, motivate and build them up emotionally. Connecting with individuals one-to-one, listening to concerns, and providing constructive feedback which focuses on the next steps, helps them realise how much they have to contribute and are valued. When you get to know what really matters to members of your team you will know best how to support them.

Create a safe environment to experiment

Another great way to build confidence is to let people know that it is OK to make mistakes – as long as they learn from them. When you remove the fear of failure you make people feel safe. Knowing that they won’t be penalised for mistakes takes away the worry and negative energy that gets in their way. As a result team members open up and are more willing to contribute and experiment.


Develop people

To improve self-efficacy you need to not only utilise the skills of team members, but to help them improve and develop new skills. One way of doing this is to set up knowledge sharing sessions to benefit the entire team or to give the team access to training courses and conferences.

Having senior team members mentor juniors also helps develop self-efficacy.

Firstly, your junior people will gain confidence and learn new skills from the support provided by the senior mentor. But this isn’t where it stops. Your senior people will actually build confidence because your juniors are relying on them to succeed. The mentors in your team will also build self-esteem because they can see that they’re valuable, not just from doing their work, but by building capability in the team at the same time.

Developing skills is one part, but the other is to develop team members in line with their career aspirations. A leader that invests in people to achieve career goals sends a strong message that people are worthy and valuable.

Bin negativity in your team

Negative attitudes destroy confidence more than anything else as people start to question themselves and their abilities. As the team leader you need to set the tone to create a healthy working atmosphere. Maintaining open communication where people feel confident to raise complaints and ask questions is essential, as they feel they are heard and there is a reduction in negative gossip.

Try not to give negativity a stage by paying more attention to positive comments and attitude. In addition, check yourself for negative comments and focus on giving positive feedback, praise, and appreciation. This is what makes people happy, and happy people are positive people.


If you want your team speaking up and feeling confident to work autonomously, then you can gain a lot by building team confidence. Start taking some of these steps today and see the difference. The rewards are big – from improved employee engagement and motivation to increased performance and productivity.