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December 17, 2018

Impostor Syndrome : Coaching to Improve Confidence

Impostor Syndrome : Coaching to Improve Confidence Ebin John Poovathany

Have you had any situation where one of your potential talent is suffering / slowing down due to lack of confidence? Do you know anyone whom you believe has great potential, but not able to unleash because he /she don’t believe in their skills (self-doubt)? I encounter this situation very often as a coach.

Confidence is the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something. A firm trust. When people lose the firm trust on their own abilities we see them get into an inward spiral of negativity and start amplifying their failures. As a coach, I encourage you to work with individual to unleash his true potential.

This blog contains one simple idea/strategy which will enable you to have a meaningful conversation in such situation. I shall share more ideas/strategies in later blogs.

Why: One of the common reason for this situation is self-doubt or one may highly under-estimate their abilities or accomplishments. It is also known as “Impostor Syndrome / Impostor Phenomenon“. It is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

How: One may get in to this trap because they don’t appreciate the value of their abilities or accomplishments. As a coach you can guide him/her to find the truth about how his/ her trusted people/ stake holders (whom he/she respect), value his/her abilities / skills / achievements.

What: Encourage the individual to collect feedback form some key stake holders, whose opinion he values. Help him to ask guided, open-ended questions to them, and evaluate that. Some sample questions are below,

  • What do you most admire about me?
  • What do you consider to be my greatest strength?
  • What do you consider to be my greatest achievements?
  • What one thing could I change for my one benefit?
  • What one word sums me up for you?

I hope now you will have more data to have meaningful coaching conversation with that individual.

Be mindful about the intent and improvise the questions depending on your context. Enjoy your coaching!

Reference: The Coach’s Casebook by Geoff Watts and Kim Morgan

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1 comment

Rajesh Attiri
Rajesh Attiri May 18, 2018 at 5:05 pm

The need of the hour. Please check the grammatical mistake in the first pragraph


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