Coaching Tools 101: Boost Confidence with this Easy, Fun "Role Model" Coaching Exercise!

Confidence Coaching Exercise with confident smiling business woman in office

In this article you'll find a step-by-step guide to the role model confidence boosting exercising. In addition, you'll learn how you can use this coaching tool in a group or workshop, plus a super-quick version of this exercise and some fun follow-on homework ideas!

The Idea behind the Role Model Confidence Boosting Exercise

Our Role Models can be Confidence Boosters!

This article uses our role models to develop confidence. It explores the idea that we have the capacity for whatever qualities and behaviours we observe in others: while you may not (yet) have those skills, the fact that you recognize them in someone else means you have the potential to develop them in yourself.

This idea is usually used in a negative way

Has anyone ever said to you something like:

  • "Takes one to know one."
  • "When you say negative things about others, it reveals who you really are."
  • "What annoys you in others, is what you're denying in yourself."

Well, there is truth to these statements—although sadly, statements like these are usually meant as a "put down" or to shame us!

And yet, pondering what we dislike in others can be a useful inquiry for us to investigate our "shadow" side.

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

And the role model tool takes this idea and uses it in a positive way!

If what we see in others is a reflection of what is in ourselves, then surely that works both ways?

So, here is a positive take on this idea. If the qualities we see in others is some denied or undeveloped aspect of ourselves, then surely that must also apply to all the 'good' stuff we recognize in others?

And that's the basis of this wonderful confidence boosting exercise I'm about to share with you.

All those good skills or qualities we admire in our role models just need recognizing within ourselves and consciously developing.

So, who are your role models? Who inspires you? Who do you admire and look up to? Because whether it's their energy, communication skills, aura of confidence, leadership or something else—if you can see it, you can learn to do it!

Boost Confidence Coaching Exercise shown by Girl as a Superhero

About The Role Model Confidence Boosting Exercise

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 realize 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 makes a fabulous workshop, webinar or group coaching exercise.

Who to use this coaching exercise with

This exercise can be used any time to help boost a client's confidence or to help them develop skills they need to achieve goals or solve problems. 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!

Resources Needed

You can use our done-for-you Role Model Confidence Boosting Tool, or simply use the questions below plus pen and paper!

  • Imagination!
  • Pen & Paper

Steps to Use The Role Model Confidence Boosting Exercise

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? _____________________

How to use this 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: An 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 remind yourself: The fact that I'm noticing this means I have the capacity for this too.
    • Take a moment to absorb that. You could be/do/have that quality or skill too—if you tried or wanted to!
  • OPTIONAL EXTRA: Ask yourself: "What could I do to develop or demonstrate this quality more in my life?"


This exercise is so simple, yet so powerful!

Simply explore what you (or your clients) admire in others, acknowledge you have the capacity for that quality yourself, and then commit to taking steps to develop it.

I recommend you use this exercise on yourself before using it with a client. That way you'll understand its power, and get ideas of how to go deeper with your clients.

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

Find this exercise plus 7 other great tools in our Self-Discovery Toolkit:

Liked this article all about a great confidence boosting coaching exercise? You may also like:

Lastly, for more about coaching tools, see our Complete Guide to Coaching Tools!

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 for coaches, plus 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 >>

Image of Confident Client standing in office by Southworks via Shutterstock

Image of Supergirl for Confidence Boosting Exercise against blue sky by Sunny Studio via Shutterstock


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