You develop a sense of confidence. Knowing that something was accomplished gives you an idea of surety, a feeling of authority. This is in total contrast to either someone who has not done it, or your own self before you dug in and “did it”.
Let me give you my own example.
Recently I offered to build an online marketing platform for a non-profit entity. I had read all about the email marketing, website building, social media sharing, etc. When I met the decision-maker and it was time to wave the green flag, I was asked a simple question. “Have you done this before?” I hesitated. Ummm…….I have read about it……it works……there are youtube videos available online….. etc. etc.
She repeated the question, “Have you done this before?”
The answer was “No”.
And my hesitation and lack of confidence showed.
Will they give me the opportunity to “learn” as I experiment through important setup in their marketing (which was serious business to them)?
Of course not!
I then spent the best part of two weeks not only reading and understanding the stuff, but actually building a website along with the email marketing and social media integration. In short, I did it.
I then called for a meeting with the decision-maker.
This time, there was no question. I offered to demonstrate how it worked.
There was conviction in my voice, assertion in my body language, a slightly louder voice and I oozed confidence.
This is the power of the second time!
Most things look very difficult when you look from the outside. The trick is to make an attempt to personally delve in and see for your own self what it is about, and how it feels.
Ever seen a child who climbs up the diving platform for the first time? The child is nervous, takes steps gingerly, keeps looking back at the comfort of the ground level at the parents. Other children are pushing. A few steps are taken towards the edge of the platform a few steps are taken backwards. When the child looks down on the water, there is a gasp (even though it is only a few feet down!).
Then something happens and the child jumps.
The expression on the face, the feeling of accomplishment, the body language is totally transformed.
The next trip to the diving platform is quicker, the steps are firmer, more eagerness is seen and the child might even seek out a higher platform. Having done it once (and survived) the child knows she can do it!
The feeling cannot be explained, but you will know it as soon as you experience it or see someone that you know has done it at least once.
As a leader, you will come across instances where you recognize these symptoms from someone who has either done something, or not.
When you understand the power of the second time, you’ll know exactly what to do.
There are instances when failure at the first attempt puts one off completely. There are other instances where failure is the “stepping stone” to success. A future post will cover these advanced topics.
I’d love to hear stories or examples where you were able to accomplish something and then bask in the newfound confidence. Please share.