Behavioral Scale Deep Dive: Low Self-Confidence

Self-Confidence: The desire to express faith in one’s ability to act and be successful in those actions.

Are you shy and unassuming? Do you often doubt yourself and your abilities? If so, you may be a low scorer in self-confidence. Let’s take a look at the behavioral traits of someone with a low self-confidence score and what managers can do to best encourage their growth.  

Low Self-Confidence

Meet Sonya. Sonya lays low at work because of her timid nature. She does her own thing and often has a hard time asserting her own opinions in both her work and personal life. She never takes the lead in projects and would rather take on a supporting role on the sidelines. She’s not super confident in her own abilities and is always doubting whether or not her work is good enough. However, she has a couple close friends who confide in her because she’s a great listener and never tries to steal the show.

Sonya is a good example of someone who likely has a low self-confidence score. She:

  • Tends to be shy and unassuming
  • May ask and expect little from others
  • Is often a good listener and humble
  • Has difficulty taking action
  • Sometimes doubts herself and her abilities
  • Often defers to secondary or subordinate roles in relationships
  • Is a peacemaker who prefers to de-escalate conflict
  • Often puts the needs and desires of others above her own

Tips for Managing Low Scorers

Although low scorers in self-confidence can be peace loving, humble listeners, sometimes their shy, subordinate behavior can have consequences in their personal and work life.  At times, low scorers may not be confident enough to take charge and may miss opportunities for advancement due to their avoidance of risk and self doubt. Whether you’re a manager of a low self-confidence scorer or wanting to learn how to better understand a colleague’s behavior, here are some ideas on how to effectively manage this behavioral trait. 

Recommendations for Low Scorers

  • Encourage them to practice being more assertive by asking for their opinion in meetings etc. It will take regular practice to make them feel more comfortable with asserting their needs.
  • Realize that seemingly simple behaviors like eye contact and smiling at strangers may be VERY difficult for low scorers in self-confidence. Encourage them to practice these behaviors with patience and consistency.
  • Set and enforce deadlines for them. The low scorer in Self-Confidence benefits from accomplishing tasks on time.
  • Patience, safety, low risk and nurturing motivate this individual.

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