This is the 31st of a series of newsletters published on Business Management and Management Skills. Not all topics will apply to your business, but each section will be beneficial to establish company goals and objectives. By reading and studying these newsletter articles, you’re taking the first step in achieving your goals.

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An important factor in effective management is gaining a high level of self-confidence. You must come to the realization that you not only can (but also will) tackle the tasks at hand and have reasonable expectations of achieving success. There are three things you must develop to gain the level of self-confidence you need: competence, commitment, and control.

Build competence by starting from a success base. Mentally rehearse success. See, feel, and hear the desired end result. Put pressure on the nervous system to create the performance outcome you desire.

Recognize that there are certain necessary feelings that accompany the state of readiness to perform. Increased heart rate, dry mouth, hollow feeling in the pit of the stomach, and muscle tightness are normal feelings providing notice that the body and mind are ready to meet the challenge. These responses are not indicators of impending failure if they are controlled. Nothing can be accomplished without some amount of tension.

Work hard. This simple premise is no guarantee for success, but it’s the only way performance will be maximized. With hard work, there’s always a chance to succeed. Without it, failure is guaranteed. Self-confidence demands a sincere commitment to the task.
Work on taking control over your emotions, thoughts, and goals. Understand that there are factors that are beyond your control. Time should not be wasted worrying about these factors. Concentrate only on the factors over which you can exercise some degree of influence. Don’t stare at the approaching train, look where you’re putting your feet!

As a manager, you have the opportunity to help others gain greater self-confidence. Keep track of the positive accomplishments of your employees and remind them of their growth. The purpose of these reminders is to continually orient employees as to how far they’ve grown and developed, and what they can reasonably expect of themselves in the future. Help them visualize what they’re capable of. Remind them of what it feels like to perform well, and explain realistically where they stand in terms of what they’re capable of today. This kind of attention will foster the self-confidence necessary for individuals to demonstrate again and again what they’re capable of. Be careful not to raise expectations to a level they cannot possibly achieve. Reflect for a moment on the following points:

Personal excellence is largely a matter of believing in one’s capabilities and performing with a sense of pride, perseverance and commitment to identified objectives.

Self-esteem is the strength of one’s convictions that he or she can successfully execute a behavior required to produce a certain outcome.

Expectations and potential rewards determine how much effort individuals expend and how long they will persist in the face of adversity.

Actual performance is directly related to the individual’s feeling of competence and expectations of personal effectiveness.

Mike Holt’s Comment: I would like to extend a special thank you to L.W. Brittian, a Mechanical & Electrical Instructor in Lott, Texas, for reviewing and editing the various articles in these newsletters. His comments and suggestions have been invaluable in the preparation of my Business Management and Management Skills’ Workbook. This newsletter article was extracted from that workbook. Watch for our next newsletter, and as always, we invite your comments and feedback. Send us your real-life experiences. We value your opinions and participation. Please respond to And… be sure to visit Mike Holt’s Website at

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