I have discovered a debate. A what comes first – the chicken or the egg kind of debate….and it’s to do with confidence and competence.
My premise has long been that confidence is a state of mind. So I can be confident that I can do something before I know that I am competent at it. I think that is why I have often thrown myself in the deep end with things. I can see myself achieving at new things, before I am proved to be competent at them. I see confidence as the first step to achievement and what follows on the path to becoming competent or capable is learning.
For me there is a difference between being able to say – ‘I know I can do that ‘(confidence) to saying ‘I understand how to do that and I have the experience that proves it’ (competence). There is a balance needed and to succeed at something there’s no doubt we need both, confidence and competence.
Last month I wrote about confidence and explored the development of trust – personal trust – that can overcome fear. Confidence is something that is drawn out and encouraged into being, tricks of trade can be learnt, however authentic confidence is found through personal development.
With competence, I believe the learning happens on a more cognitive and practical level – with acts of perceiving, knowing, experiencing and remembering. This enables us to move from understanding, to knowing, to embodying processes, actions and ways of doing.
Competence requires flexibility, emotional intelligence, self awareness and resilience. It is wholly experiential. I can study ‘how’ to play basketball, but until I get on a court and practise, then I can be as confident as I like, but I will not know that I am competent. Experience brings the theoretical into reality. I have observed this sitting beside my 17 year old as he learns to drive.
So building BOTH confidence and competence is a key for success, however I believe it helps to start with confidence. It’s the chicken and the egg thing again. I do think that having a confident attitude to start with enables a whole lot more opportunity for development of competencies. Take someone like Richard Branson – here is someone who is the epitome of confidence, someone who only develops competencies after her has chucked himself in. I like his four top competencies in business:
In my life I can translate these into:
Fine competencies for a balanced life I would say.
Building core competencies in presentation skills and public speaking is the focus of the second ‘C’ , COMPETENCE : The Art of Effective Speaking.
In this one day seminar we extend your competencies in;