It didn’t go well for Jennifer the last time, and now her confidence was shaken. She was doing everything she could to avoid going through it again, which only increased her anxiety and frustrated the rest of us. We had to rebuild her confidence and encourage her to try again. But it’s hard to rebuild confidence in the midst of the angst.
When “the last time” goes south, it can be hard to pick up the pieces. Perhaps you’ve heard concerns like these:
“The last time I gave someone feedback they cried.”
“The last time I was honest with my boss, I got a negative review.”
“The last time I presented to senior management, I got so nervous I forgot what I was going to say.”
“The last time I stayed up late working on a report, they didn’t even look at it.”
“The last time I interviewed, it turned out the job had already been promised to someone else.”
The memory of last time can destroy this time before you even start.
5 Ways To Help an Employee Rebuild Confidence
1. Acknowledge What’s Real
If last time really was a complete disaster, acknowledge the issue. Trying to say something “Just wasn’t that bad” —if it was—will only make you lose credibility. If they’re blowing it out of proportion, offer evidence to help them see the past from a different perspective.
2. Break It Down
Ask questions to help them understand the root cause of what went wrong the last time. Chances are not everything went wrong. It’s much easier to improve when you know what you’re fixing.
3. Outline What’s Different About the Scene
They may think they’ve seen this movie before, but the truth is, last time was different in many ways. Take the time to explore how today is different from yesterday, or how this guy’s different from that guy.
4. Celebrate the Learning
Help them consider all they’ve learned from the last time and intentionally celebrate.
5. Help them Prepare an Approach
The best way to create a winning “this time” is to fully prepare. Help them create a strong strategy and approach.
How about you? What have you done to rebuild confidence on your team?