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Confidence and Competence

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“It’s crucial to distinguish between confidence, the belief in our abilities in general, and competence, the knowledge of our qualifications in a certain field.” (from The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman)

When I thought deeper about the difference between Confidence and Competence I formed the confidence-competence matrix that can be used for reflecting on topics. You can apply it in four steps:

  • Collect topics that are crucial to you. This might be topics that are important for your role or for development. An orientation for myself are my 12 favorite problems I would like to focus on.
  • Map each topic by the level of competence you already have for that topic. How much do you know about it? What level of expertise in applying a topic do you already have? The higher your competence for the topic the more to to right your should position the topic in the matrix.
  • Now access your confidence. How much do you belief in your own capabilities to become active? How much do you already express your opinions, show your work, how determined and energized are you about the topic? The more confident you are the higher to the top you should place the topic.
  • Each of your topics should now be placed in one of the 4 areas. Now you can use the reflection question in that are to think about that topic and derive concrete actions for moving it further in direction to maximize your potential with that topic.

In addition you can apply insights from your topics with high competence and confidence and search for capabilities and skills that you can leverage to move further topics closer to the area where you fully utilize your potential.

Let’s look at one example:

  • Several weeks ago I started with my topic of leveraging LinkedIn to share my thoughts and grow my network aiming at helping leaders to master essential soft skills
  • I did not know much about LinkedIn and had not yet a high belief that with my capabilities I move in the right direction. (positioned in blue area - low competence, low confidence)
  • So I started learning deeper about LinkedIn. I took the course by Tim McQueen, invested in expressing my thoughts daily and learn from observing posts performance, the level of interactions. I’m growing my competence for that topic (moving my topic to the yellow zone).
  • With growing competence and experience what works I grow my confidence daily. I’m much more active now and from the feedback on posts, the growing level of interactions and great conversations my confidence grows. I dare to express myself now daily. I take action.
  • I reinforce my confidence looking at other topics where I already reaching a high competence level, combined with high belief in my capabilities. For me that are for instance the topics of Agility, Personal Knowledge Management through Building a Second Brain, Master Facilitation, Coaching
  • And I’m still on a beginners level to fully leverage my increasing competence and confidence with LinkedIn to maximize my impact on working with leaders

Posted on LINKEDIN on 2024-02-29_Thu


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