Your Communication Confidence May Be Set By Age 5

communication confidence development leadership communication competence leadership communication confidence personality development Nov 22, 2022
Leadership Communication Confidence may be set with your personality by age 5

Pretty scary thought, isn't it?

When I was transitioning out of my first career as professional baseball CEO into a coaching, consulting, speaking, and writing career, I studied a lot of human psychology and human motivation.

It was there that I learned that much of who we are as adults is set within our personality by the age of 5-7.

This morning I read an article at that reported on recently published research by the University of California Riverside, reinforcing this theory.

I have no doubt this is absolutely true.

But, research also has shown we can change our personality somewhat and with coaching, you can change your communication confidence tremendously.

I am living proof of that.

From a personality standpoint, I've always been shy and introverted, and still am. I do not enjoy idle chit-chat on subjects I'm not very well versed in or care about and I don't try to lead those types of conversations often.

But, I am a confident communicator in all of these situations:

  • One-on-one critical interactions, 
  • Small group conversations to express my opinions and ideas, 
  • Facilitating meeting discussions from in front of the room, and
  • On mainstages at events delivering keynote speeches or leading workshops for large group learning.

I have no doubt that my introversion developed very early in life as my mother was a very domineering, aggressive, and passive-aggressive communicator. 

My father was extremely timid and passive-aggressive in his response to her even when she shot down his ideas, opinions, and suggestions, and made condescending comments either towards him or directly at him, which was often and often at our nightly dinner table.

Recently a client shared her story with me, sounds quite similar:

“Answering your questions made me realize something that I’ve never thought about. I may have learned my communication style from my dad. Growing up I don’t ever think I felt I was good enough and it continued when I started working too. Always been intimated by authority figures and struggle to assert myself with my communication.”

What is your story? Where do you think your past or current level of communication confidence developed from? Please share in a comment below so others can learn from your experience and we can all continue to improve our communication confidence.