There are four main sources that allow people to build their self-efficacy. These are:
- Mastery experiences
- Social models
- Social persuasion
- Emotional states
Let’s look at each one of these individually:
- Mastery experiences – this is the most effective way to create a strong sense of self-efficacy for a As each success is achieved, the sense of self-efficacy is reinforced. However, a bit of failure is important as well. If people only experience easy successes, they will begin to feel that success is what they should experience every time they make an attempt at something new. Some setbacks are important because they teach us that we need to make a sustained effort to be successful. Still, upsets should not come, if it can be avoided, until a person has had a chance to establish a certain level of self-efficacy.
- Social models – these are examples of others who we see When we see someone that we feel is similar to ourselves achieve, we will feel that we are likely to be able to follow suit. At the same time, seeing people like ourselves fail despite a level of sustained effort can have a negative impact on our own self-efficacy. These models are most effective, in either case, when they are perceived to have the greatest similarity to ourselves. These models tell us the types and level of competencies to which we should aspire if we want to be successful in the workplace – and in life in general.
- Social persuasion – the old pep When we can persuade someone that they have the competencies and abilities to master an activity, they are more likely to make longer, sustained efforts at achieving success than if they have significant self-doubt. While social persuasion can enhance self-efficacy, it can even more easily diminish it. People tend to easily believe the negative and may decide that they are unqualified to even attempt a task – even if they actually do have the ability to complete it successfully. This factor points to the importance of leaders in an organization to frequently persuade people that they are capable and competent.
However, it’s important not to persuade someone that they are capable of something when they truly are not. You will simply reinforce any negative self-doubts that a person had – not to mention shaking their faith in you as a leader. If you are a manager, you will need to strike a balance between challenging your employees in order to stimulate their self- confidence and being careful not to set them up in situations where they are sure to fail.
Emotional states – people judge themselves on their emotional reactions to situations as well. If they react with stress and tension, they may interpret those reactions as signs that they are weak or vulnerable. Mood cans also affect self-efficacy; a positive mood will enhance it, while a negative mood will diminish it. A work environment that allows opportunities for stress reduction, teaches stress management, and acknowledges stress as a normal part of life rather than a personal weakness will help to foster positive self-efficacy in its employees.