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    How To Transfer Belief To Your Team To Help Overcome Doubt

    The following post is from “Building the Best” by John Eades from March 22, 2024,

    You don’t have to be a great leader. In fact, you can be an above-average manager in today’s work environment, make a pretty good living, and have a long-standing career.

    But then you would miss out on one of the great joys in life. Seeing someone else break through a barrier they didn’t believe was possible. You could think of it this way:

    Believing in yourself is fantastic, but you know what’s better? Helping someone else believe in themselves.

    Great leaders work hard to develop skills that increase the odds of achieving positive results. Skills like vision, coaching, decision-making, and problem-solving are all essential. But they all meet at the critical skill of communication. Without communication, the rest of the skills don’t matter, unless you work and live in a complete vacuum.

    Transferring Belief as a Communication Skill

    Communication is a two-way process that involves transmitting and receiving information. Communication is crucial in all aspects of life, from personal to professional relationships. One of the unappreciated ways to successfully communicate with others involves transferring belief.

    The greatest act of leadership is communicating through actions and words a belief in another person. Because all belief is transferred through a source. Great leaders believe in who people are and who they can become, and share that belief in a myriad of ways. Said differently, without a transfer of belief, there is no leadership. Author Jon Gordon said, “It’s amazing what people will accomplish when they know you believe in them.”

    All belief is transferred through a source.

    Every person, whether they are willing to admit it or not, has or does struggle with limiting beliefs and internal doubts. Moving forward and having sustained success is difficult, considering the stories and self-doubt we tell ourselves. This means people need a consistent source of belief to overcome insecurity.

    Helping Overcome Insecurity and Doubt

    Many people get caught up in what they can’t or haven’t done yet. Fear, doubt, and insecurity set in, and they quit altogether, or their performance is a shell of their capabilities. There are many tactics a leader could implement to help a team or an individual overcome insecurity and transfer belief to them. Here are two of my favorites:

    1. Label and Replace

    Doubting oneself can lead to hopelessness and an inability to take on a difficult mission or task. So, instead of acting like the doubt or fear isn’t there, leaders must label and replace it. Go ahead and speak about the thing that might be causing anxiety or pause, and then replace it with something positive.

    Take, for example, Greg Kampe, the head basketball coach at Oakland. After pulling off the biggest win of his 40-year career over Kentucky in the 2024 NCAA tournament, he said in the postgame interview: “I kept repeating in the huddle, ‘We win close games.’ when you have great kids with great character, you win close games.”

    Kampe knew beating Kentucky would result in winning a close game, so he went ahead and labeled it in his team’s huddle. Then, he replaced it with belief. “We win close games.”

    Kampe didn’t know for sure if they would win the close game because they didn’t win every close game all season (They lost three close regular games this season alone). However, he knew the transfer of belief to his players would increase their odds of staying loose and relaxed under pressure and help them perform at their best.

    Maybe Kampe heard the late great Mihammed Ali say, “It’s the repetition of affirmations that lead to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” Keep saying the affirmation repeatedly, and eventually, one starts to believe it.

    2. Show Gratitude for the Opportunity

    Gratitude has been linked to a variety of positive outcomes in the workplace. One study by the University of Pennsylvania found that teams whose leaders expressed gratitude saw a 50% increase in performance compared to teams whose leaders did not. This suggests that gratitude can significantly enhance team effectiveness. Gratitude doesn’t stop at showing appreciation for each other; it also extends to the opportunity in front of you.

    Only some teams or companies get the same opportunities. Celebrating and showing gratitude for the opportunities in front of a team is a secret to overcoming insecurity and doubt. This strategy lowers the emotional temperature in the room. It gets an individual or team focused on what’s right before them versus worrying about what might happen in the future.


    Regardless of your faith or religious background, a scripture in the Bible says, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” There is nothing easy about believing in something we can’t see, but just because it’s not easy doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

    Suppose you care about being a great leader instead of a mediocre manager. In that case, it’s time to examine your communication skills around transferring belief to those you have the opportunity to influence and lead.

    Remember, believing in yourself is fantastic, but you know what’s better? Helping someone else believe in themselves.

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    About the Author 

    John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company helping executives and managers to lead their best. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Management & Workplace. John is also the author of Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success. You can follow him on Instagram @johngeades.

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