Updated: Apr 23
My first face-off, in my first NHL game, in Chicago was exciting! As you can see in the video above, my opponent was the great Stan Mikita. While my coach, Dan Belisle was building my confidence by putting me out there with just minutes to go in a tied game to take the face-off, he later told me, at the same time he was "ruining another player's confidence."
Confidence is a fascinating part of our inner game.
Psychology Today says, "Confidence is a belief in oneself, the conviction that one has the ability to meet life's challenges and to succeed—and the willingness to act accordingly. Being confident requires a realistic sense of one’s capabilities and feeling secure in that knowledge.
Projecting confidence helps people gain credibility, make a strong first impression, deal with pressure, and tackle personal and professional challenges. It’s also an attractive trait, as confidence helps put others at ease."
Our confidence level is often a product of our past - our history, and our belief in what we did or didn't accomplish. How our present-self chooses to remember our past-self's actions has a huge effect on our future-self's confidence. Tweaking it becomes a powerful growth opportunity!
According to the Mindtools website: "Self-confidence is understanding that you trust your own judgment and abilities, and that you value yourself and feel worthy, regardless of any imperfections or of what others may believe about you."
Trusting what we did in the past contributes to good future-self confidence. But what if we have not handled things in our past in a way that creates high confidence in our future-self?
Over the past 10 months of Covid leadership uncertainty, we have been encouraging the leaders that we coach and train to be more intentional about utilizing the Peak-End Rule during their electronic conversations. According to the Nielsen Norman Group: "The peak–end rule is a cognitive bias that impacts how people remember past events. Intense positive or negative moments (the 'peaks') and the final moments of an experience (the end) are heavily weighted in our mental calculus."
If our personal and cultural confidence is largely influenced by our memories and the relationship that we have with our past-self's success or failure, then being much more intentional around how we interpret what we remember will contribute to increased confidence. The Peak-End Rule concept begs us to focus our memories on positive peak events and positive endings as much as possible. We are working with leaders to lace the high-positive peaks in the conversations with extra emotion and always end on a high note.
The two separate customer experiences represented in the visual above is discussed in detail by Alita Joyce in this Nielson Norman Group video. Even though Customer A's experience ends with a small positive peak, there is a large negative peak earlier in this customer's experience. Customer B's experience starts off with a smaller negative peak, but then ends with a larger positive peak and a solid positive end. In addition, the brain remembers vivid negative experiences more than vivid positive experiences. For these reasons, in the above scenarios, Customer B walks home more satisfied than Customer A.
Connecting these two big ideas!
If indeed confidence increases or decreases across our personal positive or negative belief/trust system, let's work on these two ideas this week to intentionally enhance our confidence and the confidence of our people.
1- As our present-self remembers or recalls the events of our lives, observe the negativity, but focus more on the positive-peaks and the positive-ends. Even if the true ending is negative, find the lesson in the Past-Negative memory, thus allowing the end to resolve positively.
2- Going forward, we can positively influence other people's confidence levels by intentionally focusing on creating more "positive peaks" and more "positive ends" throughout the conversations that we have with them. Intentionally applying the Peak-End-Rule enables people to experience more positivity in their frame, and allows them to build their confidence around this.
Don't you love when current science keeps proving what our Grandmothers told us many years ago? "What goes around... comes around. If you want a compliment, give a compliment!" See the positive... be the positive... confidently!