But for others, it’s a different story. If you throw them into the deep end, they very quickly start writhing in anxiety. Left alone too long and you’ll hear gurgling. Just don’t delay when all you see are bubbles. That’s not good.
You see, they view the challenge as overwhelming, or at least more than what they think they can handle. It’s not that they can’t do it; it’s just that they are uncomfortable venturing too far from the edge of what they already know or have experienced. They just can’t muster the inner confidence to take on the situation.
When your people are reluctant because they question their ability, you can’t just coddle them. The only way they will learn is to do. Since a toss in the deep end alone won’t work, throw them a lifeline by lending them your belief they can do it; at least until they gain the confidence to believe in themselves.
• Remind them they have done some things already that are similar to the new thing.
• Give them access to resources—in addition to you—to support them.
• Schedule formal check-ins to quiet their anxiety.
• Affirm their progress and attribute it to their effort and diligence.
• Correct them as they go with honest and timely feedback.
• Recognize their success as confirmation that they CAN do it.
• Immediately assign them another opportunity to engage their new found belief in themselves.
You can be a significant influence in accelerating another’s development. That is, if you aren’t stingy with your confidence in them. Step up and be that one for someone. After all, someone along your way was that one for you.
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