Confidence and self-control


Personal Effecitveness


Confidence and Self Control
  • This is a belief in one's own capability to accomplish a task and select an effective approach to a task or problem. This includes confidence in one's ability as expressed in increasingly challenging circumstances and confidence in one's decisions and opinions. The essence of this behaviour is the question, 'Does the person take on risky or difficulty tasks or measured conflicts with those in power over that person'? Level D and E are primarily about assertiveness and confidence with one's boss or others in more senior positions, not with staff or peers.


Behavioural Indicators
Complexity Examples
A. Presents self confidently
  • Appears confident in relation to the tasks of the job and ability to complete them
  • Willing to ask questions and make suggestions for better ways of achieving a task
  • Works without needing close supervision
  • Remains calm and tactful when challenged
  • Is confident working with others
  • Maintains a businesslike approach when unduly annoyed, disturbed or disrupted by others 
B.Acts independently
  • Trusts own judgement
  • Willing to disagree and make a stand on issues when necessary/appropriate
  • Recognises and uses the skills and experience of others without feeling threatened
  • Recognises when to act independently and when to seek advice
  • Keeps things in perspective despite frustration  
C.Models confidence and professionalism
  • Says, 'I know I made a mistake', to others and takes action to rectify and learn from the situation
  • Looks for challenging new projects or new responsibilities
  • Presents self as a reputable source of knowledge
  • Accepts criticism without being defensive
  • Can deliver the bad as well as the good news effectively
  • Is confident in own ability to deliver and in transferring confidence to new situations
  • Is objective under pressure and in difficult or stressful circumstances
  • Works effectively under tight deadlines
  • Maintains effectiveness and commitment in the face of disappointment 
D.Chooses challenging situations
  • Is willing to put forward and sustain a case which conflicts with senior people
  • Likes challenging projects
  • Speaks up when disagrees with management, customers or others in power
  • Makes their case politely, stating own views clearly and confidently, even in a conflict
  • Sticks to unpopular or difficult decisions even when others disagree in pursuit of University benefit
E.Challenges the status quo
  • Takes on extremely challenging and stretching tasks willingly
  • Challenges the status quo if confident that there is a better way of approaching or doing something, even when this is the accepted University view and the opinions of more senior people
  • Is not afraid to push difficult issues towards a decision and take responsibility for the outcome, even when this is by no means clear
  • Responds solidly to customers in the face of unreasonable demands and seeks agreement professionally 
Negative indicator
  • Fears mistakes so avoids decisions, procrastinates
  • Will only take on very familiar tasks
  • Reacts inappropriately when placed in stressful situations
  • Stamps down on creativity and innovation
  • Panics or makes mountains out of molehills
  • Is threatened by those with greater knowledge or experience in their area of work 



Development Tips
Staff development activities
  • When next faced with 'difficult situations' - write a list of what you will get out of it when it is successfully dealt with.
  • Volunteer for new challenges.
  • Make an effort to visit or involve other departments and team thus exposing yourself to dealing and working with a wide range of individuals.
  • Next time an obstacle presents itself - immediately write down what you are going to do about it before you talk about it.
  • Congratulate yourself when you do something well.
  • Picture what it is you want to do/be and practice thinking and talking in those terms.
  • Take a calculated risk to improve a work process or an interpersonal relationship.
  • Write and mentally rehearse a plan for how you will respond in the event of disappointment or challenge.
  • Discuss with a colleague your reaction to stress and explore its management.
  • Examine your priorities and take firm action to manage your time.
  • Where you do not have specific deadlines, impose your own and work towards them. 
Manager activity
  • Delegate tasks in a planned way which progressively challenges staff member's capability.
  • Encourage sharing of mistakes with a view to developing improvement strategies.
  • In performance review, talk in terms of what you want, NOT what must be avoided.
  • Consistently look for opportunities to give positive feedback and recognise success.
  • Clarify the link between the staff member’s development and increased responsibility.
  • Present `threats/obstacles' in a positive way.
  • Give specific and usable feedback.
  • Be a good role model.
  • When the individual is next faced with a disappointment - discuss how they can manage the feelings and maintain their effectiveness. 


Recruitment and Selection

Further advice on using competencies in the selection processes is available on Workspace in the Recruitment section.

Last edited Jun 29, 2016