Communicating Belief and Confidence

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”

~ Anatole France

Communicating Belief and Confidence

By Dr. Lewis Losoncy & Colin Walsh

The poet Goethe observed, “If you want someone to develop a trait, treat them as though they already have it.”   One of the best predictors of an individual or a team’s performance is their expectations. Theodore Roosevelt concluded that if you believe you can you were half way there.  Winning teams expect to win.  Losing teams aren’t sure.  Research in education provides support for the idea if a teacher believes in a student and expects the student to do well, her belief communicates confidence which plays a role in influencing the student’s own positive expectations.

Think about it for a moment.  If someone believes in us and communicates that confidence along with a belief that our work is important, we will have a tendency to take a renewed look at ourselves. Deep down we may hope the person is right so we try to prove the trusting person right. The fact that some psychologists tell us we only use 10% of our potential demonstrates that there is always room for improvement.  And the cause of this improvement may be someone’s trust that communicates belief and confidence (Losoncy & Walsh, 2011, p. 104).

From:  Losoncy L. & Walsh, C. (2011).  On: a brilliant way to live and work. Sanford, FL: DC Press.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114,

Coaching Call To Action

How are you communicating belief and confidence with your employees?