Without Confidence, Does Mastery Matter?

Fulcrum Labs
95 posts

Is a king born with confidence?

LeBron James is regarded as one of basketball’s greatest players (some argue the greatest player of all time). But despite his prowess and basketball mastery, he wasn’t always so clutch. In fact, even though he’s clearly one of the most talented players to ever grace the hardwood, early in his career King James was often reluctant to take game winning shots. LeBron clearly had mastery over the necessary skills, but he needed to develop his confidence to apply that mastery on the court. He had to learn to demand the ball. He had to learn to dominate. And he had to put in the practice to nail jump shot after jump shot, so he could build the confidence to deliver clutch performances.

The Confidence/Performance Relationship

In fact, there is a large body of scientific research that demonstrates the link between confidence and performance. While LeBron is an example of the confidence/performance relationship in sports (and there are many other familiar examples, such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Ronda Rousey just to name a few), this connection isn’t just manifest in professional athletes. For example, research has shown that confidence is a key factor in everything from supportive romantic relationships and stress-free parenting to academic success and job satisfaction.

Tactics for Improving Confidence Levels

It’s clear that confidence is a powerful indicator of success and high performance. And the best news about confidence is that, unlike innate athletic ability or intelligence, confidence is something we can build, hone and maintain through a variety of tactics. In fact, research shows that the following can contribute to improved confidence levels:

Take-Aways for Corporate Learning

Not only does research demonstrate the connection between confidence and performance, but it also provides concrete tools that can be leveraged to improve confidence levels. In fact, some of the most advanced learning technologies incorporate confidence-boosting techniques like:

  • Competency-based learning – Requiring learners to truly master the content prior to moving on within the course gives them the practice they need to be able to apply the training accurately and with confidence.
  • Self-directed learning – Providing learners with opportunities to direct their own learning – pace, topics and content modality – gives them ownership of their learning and makes learning a much more positive experience
  • Targeted feedback – Bots that provide helpful hints, encouraging reminders and robust assessment feedback can help learners build accurate knowledge bases without just serving up the “right” answer.
  • Opportunities for Success – Adaptive formative assessments give learners lots of opportunities to practice knowledge application. And because adaptive algorithms adjust the content difficulty to the level that’s appropriate for each learner, learners are likely to experience confidence-boosting success more often.

Confidence Case Example

These are just a few of the ways that learning technologies can incorporate tactics that drive confidence. And when executed well, these tactics can deliver dramatic increases in learner confidence levels. For example, using our adaptive platform, clients have been able to ensure that their learners have full mastery of the content. In addition to increasing learner mastery, Fulcrum’s platform has also significantly boosted learner confidence levels. Learners who have completed courses in our platform demonstrate higher levels of confidence in their skills, they are more likely to apply the training back on the job and they are more empowered to advance their careers – whether that be through new skill acquisition or career certification exams.

In fact, in one measureable example, after using Fulcrum’s platform, 25% more learners were confident enough to take the FAA’s certification exam. Learn more about how Fulcrum has helped learners build and maintain their confidence levels here.

For more information about how Fulcrum Labs views the role of confidence in learning, or how we incorporate confidence-building techniques into our platform, contact us directly for a short demo of our product.