Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke


Boosting Confidence Increases Leadership Effectiveness

Volume: July 2012

By Doug Van Dyke, Leadership Simplified, www.leadershipsimplified.com


In their 2009 article entitled Coaching and the Effect on Self-Efficacy, Frode Moen and Eleanor Allgood investigated the impact of a one year executive coaching experiment on self-efficacy in reference to important leadership tasks (Moen & Allgood, 2009). The authors defined self-efficacy as the strength of a person's beliefs in his or her ability to produce performances necessary for successful and anticipated outcomes. In other words, self-confidence leads to enhanced leadership performance. You may be curious, with so many traits associated with excellent leadership, why the focus on self-confidence? The answer may be found in the fact that since 1976 there have been more than 6,100 published research studies examining the effect of people's confidence on their ability to reach their goals (Grant & Greene, 2004). Self-confidence has been found to be one of the most important factors, and often the single most important factor, contributing to successful performances in almost every area of life. In sum, self-confidence has proven to be an important variable in predicting leadership performance.


The question then becomes: Does executive coaching positively transform individual work performance? The answer is a resounding “Yes.” Executive coaching is often the conduit used to help grow leaders, as well as to grow their teams.


We define executive coaching as: “A relationship that focuses on improving both skills and behavior in pursuit of better individual and organizational performance (French, Bell, & Zawacki, 2005).” Successful organizations have to continually innovate in order to maintain their place in a dynamic, competitive marketplace. In addition, leaders and team members are expected (and expect) to constantly upgrade their abilities and leadership skills (Fillery-Travis & Lane, 2008). 


The coaching process associated with Moen and Allgood’s yearlong study was conducted via in-person, one-on-one conversations, small group coaching, and tele-coaching. When a leader is pondering an executive coaching initiative, there are five key elements to consider:

  1. Be clear about the desired results of the coaching engagement.
  2. Be clear about the coaching process.
  3. Be certain that there is participant buy-in to the coaching process.
  4. Position the coach to hold participant(s) accountable.
  5. Make certain that the positive outcomes and breakthroughs that occur will be positively reinforced.


The results of the Moen & Allgood’s executive coaching study showed significant positive effect on the self-confidence of the participants. According to the authors, participants experienced the following:

  • Increased awareness and use of strategic thinking
  • Improved goal setting ability for both themselves and their team members
  • Increased ability to evaluate their own capacity to accomplish tasks
  • Better ability to analyze and successfully complete tasks


So why does executive coaching lead to all of these positive outcomes? The answer is three-fold:

  1. By increasing the level of their skills, any leader is going to feel more confident.
  2. By broadening the number of options with which a leader can approach an issue or situation, they will naturally be more confident.
  3. By heightening their ability to develop their people, a leader will experience increased results from their team. And, when teams produce standout results consistently, leaders get pretty darn confident.


Want to increase your level of confidence? Get a terrific executive coach and watch your abilities soar!  


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Please do so, as long as you do not alter the content or embedded links. Also, please include the following information: Doug Van Dyke is a leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and strategic planner. Doug’s book, Leadership Simplified, as well as CDs and DVDs are available at www.leadershipsimplified.com. To learn more about coaching and training services, contact Doug today at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). 

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