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Workshop info for Middlesex Uni – Confidence

Confidence Matters

It was a pleasure to work with you at Middlesex University and I truly hope that you enjoyed the masterclass and found our discussions useful.

The key now is to remember to implement the ideas and actions that you took away.

I didn't get to speak to you all personally, so if there are any issues or questions you would like to discuss please contact me. You can reach me at kate@kateatkin.com or 07779 646976.

On this webpage you will find some extra information on confidence.

Researched Ways to Build Confidence

Mastery experiences
The most important way self-efficacy grows is through positive experiences, where successful accomplishment of a task leads to an increase in self-efficacy. Think about something you have done well and how you feel about that accomplishment. It is likely that reflecting on achieved tasks will give you a “warm glow” or other positive feeling. This is the basis of “The Confidence Wall” as explained during this workshop and also in chapter 9 of my book, The Confident Manager.

Vicarious experiences
Secondly self-efficacy grows by watching or working with skilled people. This observational learning could be through role-models, watching an expert or learning from mistakes made by others, so you know what not to do.

Social persuasion
Social persuasion is also helpful in giving your confidence a boost. Be it supportive comments from friends or family, or encouragement from others whose opinions you value.

Psychological states
Finally your own assessment of how you feel, when approaching a task will either boost or detract from you confidence levels. These were called psychological states by Bandura, and include both your emotional and bodily responses to situations.


We often think that it is confidence which is needed in order to act. However, even though this workshop was entitled “Confidence Matters” I’m going to suggest that there may be something more fundamental which brings about action – and it’s not confidence. Confidence grows through taking action, but what causes people to act in the first place?

Courage comes in many different forms, and is defined by Robert Biswas-Diener as
“the willingness to act toward a moral or worthwhile goal, despite the presence of risk, uncertainty and fear”.

Sometimes we need to be courageous rather than wait to feel confidence before we act.

Here's a link to a discussion I had with Estelle Levin-Nally on the subject of confidence, where it comes from and how we can build it: in conversation... on confidence

I was also asked about holding difficult conversations. You'll find my tips for these in the pdf which you can download here

And you can find the slides here: Confidence Matters slides

Finally, do have a browse around the rest of my website if you would like to know more about me and what I do. If you would like to keep in touch, then you can connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter or sign up to receive my occasional newsletter on my home page

Best wishes