Tips to overcome confidence bias as a leader

by Nov 10, 2022

Overcome confidence bias as a leader

Overcome confidence bias as a leader. Making sure that everyone is heard is a key element of becoming an inclusive leader.


All our systems favour those who are confident and outgoing. This involves gravitating toward those who are extroverted and able to communicate effectively. They are highly articulate and able to respond appropriately even under pressure in situations like pitches or interviews. They have the ability and willingness to put their hands up and share their views so they are frequently called upon first in meetings. Extraverts are the ones who stand up and ask questions in big conferences.

They can process information and think quickly on their feet to deliver key points in a way that is coherent and structured. This is a talent that many people strive to attain and do – successfully. But frequently because we fail to deal with our confidence bias, the value we assign to the contribution of extroverts can be misplaced and we may ignore the input of introverts or never even hear it at all.

confidence bias


Worth a read: Introverted/Extroverted – the perfect balance?

Become an inclusive leader

Overcoming confidence bias as a leader is not complicated. Making sure that everyone is heard is a key element of becoming an inclusive leader. Creating an environment where everyone is heard will benefit not just your team but the whole company.

Here are some basic tips

  • Send out an agenda.
  • Ask if anyone needs any time.
  • Call upon your introverts first to speak in a meeting especially when they are working remotely.
  • Make sure everyone gets a chance to make a contribution.
  • Outlaw interruptions. Introverts may need more time to process their ideas but that doesn’t mean they dont have any.

Worth a read: Hybrid workplaces need inclusive leadership

Be an ally

Extroverts are quite dismissive of those who don’t step up. Now is the time to become aware of your own confidence bias and to give them the opportunity to air their views.

Advocating for more introverted colleagues will give you an insight into managing your own blind spots.


For introverts

If you are an introvert and are reluctant to speak up, there are steps you can take to change that. Understanding that confidence bias exists is part of the solution not that you are being personally discriminated against. Many people don’t even know they are doing it. if they do know and are doing so deliberately to exclude you, then flag this up to your manager.

There is no point in having great ideas if you can’t share them and you may work in an environment with no allies and a non-inclusive manager.

  • Public speaking is an acquired skill and speaking on your feet is a talent that can be learned. You may start off less than perfect but you will improve over time. Enroll in your local Toastmasters or check out this Power Coaching Session
  • If an agenda is circulated make sure you add your name to secure a slot. If there is no agenda ask for one.
  • Learn to deal with  “manterruptions” and “mansplaining”  Read this post: How to handle manterruptions in an online meeting


Does your workplace promote inclusion? 3Plus can help you with our specialist services for Executive Search and Diversity Recruitment.

3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Leadership and Competence Building or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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