Laura Komócsin shares her new tool to boost self-confidence using objective measurements: ‘The Good Enough Sets’
A recent research project1 revealed that the self-confidence of Hungarians is significantly below the international average (3.46 vs 2.96) on a scale of 5 (very low) to 1 (extremely high). Seeing the results, I decided to launch a free nationwide programme with the ambitious goal of reaching the international benchmark of 2.96 within three years.
Acting as ‘Self-confidence Ambassadors’, more than 100 volunteer coaches across the country are providing individual or group coaching sessions to participants. The programme starts with a
self-assessment to see how confident participants are. Depending on the results, multiple coaching techniques are offered to boost participants’ self-confidence including ‘positive gossip’2 (sharing prosocial information about a person) and the Johari Window3, a technique to better understand personal relationships. In this article I introduce another tool that was extremely helpful.
The Good Enough Sets
The basic idea behind this new coaching tool can be traced back to Bettelheim’s book on good-enough parenting4. People with low self-esteem and insecurity in certain areas need more than a simple, ‘You are good at this’ kind of compliment. They can benefit from objective measurement: established standards or benchmarks they can measure themselves against.
When I started my career as a professional coach, I had many doubts: was what I was doing good enough? At the time, there was nothing or nobody to compare my work with. My clients helped me a lot when they voiced their satisfaction and recommended me to others but it still wasn’t enough. I felt something was missing.
Then I discovered the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and was able to send several audio recordings of my coaching sessions for assessment. When I received my ICF MCC credential, I was relieved to be among the highest-ranking coaches worldwide.
Objective measurement is possible in many other fields such as language proficiency but there are many areas of life where such objective standards aren’t available. For example, there’s no objective way to assess a mother’s skills or performance. A child’s feedback may be the only way to undermine or boost her self-confidence, to assess whether she’s a ‘good enough’ mother.
So it seems we can distinguish three different perspectives for assessing performance:
1. It is good enough by objective standards
2. It is good enough for the affected
3. It is good enough for me
Using these perspectives, assessment results may vary considerably.
Here are some examples:
- I have a driver’s licence but neither I nor others consider me a good driver.
- In my personal opinion, I can make a great stew but my husband and kids think that granny’s is the best. So, this is only my opinion.
- After 20 years of marriage, I still cannot believe that I’m a good wife even though my husband has a completely different opinion.
- Although there are no objective measurements for these cases, I’m content that in my opinion and according to those affected, I am a pretty good mother, wife and friend. Cleaning is out of the three sets since it’s absolutely not my strength!
- This is how you use the Good Enough sets: enter clients’ different roles in the corresponding set (see Figure 1). By looking at the sets as an overview, they can decide whether they want to be even better in one of the sets or they’re already good enough. Not all roles will (or should) be in the middle set.
This tool helps clients identify which roles they may want to develop in the future and where they’re good enough already. For many who participated in our self-confidence boost programme, the tool provided a great learning experience – and reassurance that in certain areas of life, they are already good enough.
1. International self-confidence research: https://onbizalomnovelde.hu/kutatas-eredmenye/
2. L Komócsin, Positive gossip exercise, in Toolful Coach, CreateSpace, 2012
3. Johari Window: J Luft and H Ingham, ‘The Johari window, a graphic model of interpersonal awareness’, in Proceedings of the Western Training Laboratory in Group Development, 1995
4. B Bettelheim, A Good Enough Parent, Knopf Doubleday, 1988
About the author
Laura Komócsin has been working as a professional coach since 2003, following her career as a management consultant at Accenture. She became a Master Certified Coach (MCC) credentialed by the International Coaching Federation in 2020. She was the founder and first president of the ICF Hungary Chapter and has been serving as an Advisory Board member ever since. She teaches executive coaching at the Budapest Corvinus University. She developed the SPARKLE coaching model and the Periodic Table of Coaching Tools: