A big part of your role as a leader is to help those who aren’t yet as confident as you claim you are. The problem is that we’re all putting on a bit of a false front, acting more sure of ourselves than we actually feel.

As the boss, you don’t want to look foolish in front of your team. You’ve got this.

The employees or volunteers also want to look good in front of their boss and co-workers. But the fact is that we all have our moments of doubt. Even if we don’t show them to others.

That’s why your job is to help people build not just their skills but their confidence. It’s an interesting interplay, because you don’t want to disrespect their sense of self-worth.

One primary way to do this is to focus on positive feedback. When you see something good, let people know. Even with just a sincere “thank you.”

But stuff also happens which is going the wrong direction, or at least not as helpful as it could be. In this case, how do you give feedback to a child? Your best friend? Yourself? I hope that you’d do that in a positive, loving way.

Perhaps you’d ask an open ended question: What did you learn from that? What do you think might go better next time? What do you think that other person saw?

Or you could rely on objective measures: I notice that today didn’t seem as productive as yesterday – what do you think was the difference? The customer sure didn’t seem to take that well – what do you think stuck with them?

Or you can turn things around and ask for help: I’m puzzled – what just happened here? Is there something we should try differently?

This is about building up your folks’ skills and confidence, so they’ll be more effective and less reliant on your intervention. It’s about developing your people.