What’s better: confidence or competence?

17 March 2023

By Linda Ferguson

Would you rather be confident or competent?

It’s not an easy question. You probably have worked for someone who is confident, but not competent. If that doesn’t seem true to you, take 20 minutes to watch this TED talk. On the one hand, the speaker encourages us all to be more competent leaders. On the other, he makes it clear that if we are competent, we also need to be confident to be rewarded.

Many people come to NLP Canada Training to build communication skills. They are not very different than my college students. They assume that if they were more confident in their communication, they would be better at communicating. That’s only partly true. You get more of what you measure. If you’re measuring confidence, you’ll get more confident and that will get you some results.

If you want more reliable results, you need to think about what kind of reactions you want when you communicate and measure those. That means that you need more than confidence. You need skills that you practice systematically. And while you’re practicing, you won’t feel confident. You’ll feel like someone who is stretching their limits and doing new things.

All our training is designed to help you build skill as quickly as possible. That means teaching you to accept the discomfort that comes with stretching your limits and it means teaching you to set specific goals so that you can know what you are achieving. You should feel unfamiliar and a little uncertain. That’s how you know you’re exploring something new.

We’ll also help you build the curiosity to keep exploring. And when it’s appropriate, you’ll find that you also become more confident about the right things.

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