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the confidence gap, part 2: mentoring millennials

The media attention surrounding The Confidence Code -- a popular book written by journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman --has raised awareness around how working women may be holding themselves back from leadership positions due to their own lack of self-confidence. But where do Millennials fit in? Known for their ambition, self-awareness and high-education, do Millennial women (born between 1982 and 1994) fall prey to the confidence gap too? Baby Boomers Lean Back, Millennials Lean In According to Trang Chu at The Guardian, “While this may be true for a generation of Baby Boomers where women were taught to speak apologetically and lean back from their careers, we could argue this is not the case with the Millennial generation.” According to Randstad’s most recent Engagement Study, Millennials and Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) have differing views when it comes to the future of women in the workplace, with Millennials having a more favorable outlook. CNBC projects that Millennials will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, so the younger generation’s shifting perceptions of women and leadership could mean positive changes ahead for working women. For example, both men and women respondents answered the three questions below as part of our Engagement Study. Notice the contrasting view among Millennials and Baby Boomers:

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Arrogance: the Dark Side of Confidence

In your work, confidence is important. If you are a leader, confidence will help your team feel assured that the direction you are taking them is the correct one. As well, they will trust your judgment if you express a need to take a different path. Without confidence, you won’t be a leader because you won’t have anyone who will agree to follow you.

Even if you are “just” part of the team, you want to project confidence. After all, if you aren’t certain about the work you are doing or an idea you have, how do you expect others to be confident in your contributions?  The concern with confidence, however, is when you hit the tipping point – when you go from confidence into the darkness of arrogance.

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