Coaching Tools 101: Boost Confidence with this Easy, Fun "Role Model" Coaching Exercise! | By Emma-Louise Elsey

Boost Confidence Coaching Exercise shown by Girl as a Superhero

Role Models as Confidence Boosters!

This article uses the concept of role models to develop our clients' confidence. It explores the idea that we have the capacity for whatever qualities and behaviours we observe in others. Not that we DO those behaviours, but the fact that you recognize them in someone else means you have the capacity to develop that quality in yourself.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to boost confidence using this technique with a client. In addition, this article also shares how you can use this coaching tool in a group or workshop, plus a super-quick version of this exercise and some follow-on homework ideas!

This Concept is Usually Used in the Negative...

Has anyone ever said to you something like, "Don't say negative things about others, because it reveals who you really are?", or "What you dislike in others, is really what you are denying in yourself". There is some truth to these statements - and looking inwards at what we dislike in others can be a useful inquiry for us to investigate our "shadow" side. Sadly, however, statements like these are often said as a "put down" or to shame us!

Carl Jung said, "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves." 

However, This Concept Can ALSO be Used in the Positive!

Do you consciously have a role model? If not, who inspires you? Who do you admire and look up to? Because whether it's someone's energy, communication skills, aura of confidence, leadership or something else - if you can see it, you can learn to do it!

In fact, we can't recognize in others what we don't already have within ourselves. That means those skills or qualities just need consciously developing - or letting out.

And that's the basis of this wonderful exercise I'm about to share with you. To explore what you (or your clients) admire in others, to acknowledge you have the capacity for that quality yourself, and then commit to taking steps to develop it.

The Role Model Confidence Boosting Exercise:

Confidence Boosting Coaching Exercise

Get a Done-For-You Version of this Exercise here >>

This simple coaching exercise will help your clients move closer to embodying the personal qualities they admire in others, and boost their confidence as you help them realise they already have the seed for those qualities within themselves.

When to use this coaching exercise:

While you can do this exercise as part of a coaching session, it also makes great individual homework (and is best when you review the results with your client at the next session). It is also a fabulous workshop, teleseminar or group coaching exercise.

Who to use this coaching exercise with:

Adapt and use this exercise with your career coaching clients, with youth, executive and leadership coaching clients as well as in stress management and confidence-boosting situations, and many types of workshops!

Resources Needed:

  • Imagination!
  • Pen & Paper

STEP 1: Identify 3 Role Models

Ask your client, "Who are your Top 3 Role Models?", "Who do you admire?", "Who impresses you?"
NOTE: They can be real or in your imagination, someone you know or don't, in a film or book, alive or dead!

  1. ______________________
  2. ______________________
  3. ______________________

STEP 2: Identify 2 People Who Have Influenced You Recently

Ask your client, "Who has been most influential in your life over the last year, personally, and in your career?"

  • Personally       ______________________
  • In your career ______________________

STEP 3: What About Them Impacted You Most?

Ask your client to consider and write down:

  • What about these 5 people has impacted you?
  • What do you most admire about your role models above and why?
  • What could you learn from them?

STEP 4: What Qualities Would You Like to Have for Yourself?

Next, ask your client to make a list if the qualities that you would like to emulate or have for yourself. List as many as you can think of!


STEP 5: Brainstorm How You Could Bring Some of those Qualities into Your Life

FIRST share the idea: You can only see in others what you have the capacity for in yourself. This means that you already have - or can develop - this quality!

THEN ask your client to write out 5 ways you could begin to bring some of those qualities into their everyday life.
TIPS: How could you adapt what your role models do to fit you and your life? How could you take that quality and embody it more in your life?

  1. ______________________
  2. ______________________
  3. ______________________
  4. ______________________
  5. ______________________

STEP 6: Choose at least ONE Action!

To wrap up, what one specific action will you choose to move forwards with? ______________________

What other action steps could you take? ______________________

Confidence Boosting Coaching Exercise

Great Workshop Form - Done for you!

How to use this Role Model Confidence Boosting Exercise in a Workshop:

Allow: 45 minutes

Resources needed: Paper (or our done-for-you Role Model Coaching Exercise) and Pens for Attendees. Flipchart or Whiteboard and pens for you.

  • Let people know you're going to do a fun exercise with them - to boost confidence! (allow 1-2 mins)
  • Use Step 1 as a group warm-up - get people to shout out names of people they admire (allow 5 mins). Write them down on the Flipchart.
  • Steps 2 and 3 work well when done individually, for maximum introspection (allow 5 mins).
  • Step 4 is great for discussion in groups of 3-4 people. Once the group time is up, ask someone from each group to share some of the top qualities people were looking for (allow 8-10 mins, plus 3-5 mins for the group sharing piece - time depends on numbers of people). Write them down on the Flipchart.
  • Introduce the CORE Idea of this tool (1-2 mins).
  • Then put people into pairs for Step 5 (allow 8-10 mins).
  • You can wrap up using Step 6, and ask all workshop attendees to share the one specific action they will move forwards with (allow 5 mins).
  • The Takeaway: Share the quick version of this exercise outlined below (allow 1-2 mins)

Fun Follow-on Homework Ideas:

Suggest to your client that they:

  • Read books, memoirs, autobiographies of people they look up to.
  • They can also watch/listen to podcasts, radio, films and documentaries about the people they admire.
  • Finally, they can journal about the qualities they admire in others and would like to grow in their lives. Example questions to explore include; where have they already used this quality in their life? Where do they hold themselves back? What would life (or a specific situation) look like if they fully embraced their capacity for this quality? How would it FEEL to embrace this quality? What excites them, what scares them?

These ideas will give clients plenty of inspiration to grow!

Quick Version of this Exercise - Instant Confidence Boost!

Once you or your clients have done this exercise, you can do a super-abbreviated version of this exercise for an instant confidence boost. Here it is:

  • Next time you notice yourself admiring someone say to yourself, "The fact that I'm noticing this means I have the capacity for this too."
  • Then ask yourself, "What could I do to demonstrate that quality more in my life?"


This exercise is so simple, yet so powerful! You can use it with children too - a simple reminder they can carry with them throughout life that we are much more capable than we might at first think! I also recommend you use this exercise on yourself.

Remember: The CORE of this exercise to share with your client is that they MUST have the capacity for the quality they admire in others, or they wouldn't be able to recognize it in others!

"I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within." Anonymous

If you liked this article with a confidence boosting coaching exercise, you may also like:

Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools, resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>


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