Carol Craig has written an excellent book in ‘Creating Confidence: A handbook for professionals working with young people’ Centre for confidence and well-being, 2007.
However, don’t click away now if you think this is only for those working in schools and the social services – this book has relevance for anyone with a young person in the familly and indeed is helpful for general people management too. Similarly, although some of the focus is on Scotland, it has a much broader remit and will be useful in many countries.
Carol highlights how our society’s increase in choice, mass media and individualism requires confidence to enable us to choose and do well. Yet there seem to be many misunderstandings about how to develop confidence, and even what we mean by it. She uses solid evidence and raises some excellent issues about the over focus on the concept of ‘self-esteem’. Over worrying about the self esteem of our young people is leading to a ‘fragile self’ everything is protected and nothing is ever their fault, therefore the whole thing can back-fire and actually reduce confidence and increase the risk of depression.
I won’t go into all the details here, but she quite rightly critiques certain government initiatives (including focusing on self esteem) which seems to completely ignore the evidence base. I see the same thing in management all the time, and wish I knew how to get over this.
She writes in a clear and engaging style, and the book can be dipped in to at any stage and still make sense.
For more details go on to Centre for Confidence and well-being Centre for Confidence and well-being