5 Ways to Improve your Tech Lead Confidence

Discover the most common situations that Tech Leads face and strategies to boost your career.

September 20, 2023

In the fast-paced world of technology, being a Tech Lead can be both exciting and challenging. New technologies emerge every day, and as the leader of your company, understanding their functions and impact is invaluable. Additionally, regardless of the project, technology, or company size, improving your soft skills also is essential for success in this role.

In this post, I'll show you the most common situations that Tech Leads face and strategies to boost your career.

The strategies I'll share in this post have helped me boost my confidence as a technology leader, from big companies to startups, in various roles, and across different cultures. You can apply these tips in different contexts throughout your career.

Keep going until the end and you'll find out why I think the last point is the most important. Let’s dive right in!

Managing Competing Priorities

One of the primary challenges that Tech Leads often grapple with is effectively managing competing priorities. Tech leads face the delicate act of balancing technical responsibilities with leadership duties. They may be torn between coding and guiding their team, or deciding whether to launch a new feature or stabilize the existing product.

Regardless of the scenario, it’s common to find numerous tasks running in parallel, all requiring timely completion. So, the question arises: “How can I effectively navigate this situation and manage the substantial workload?”

To tackle this challenge effectively, tech leads must first ask themselves: "What is the most valuable task for our customers and business right now?". Identifying this task will enable you to channel your efforts towards it, fostering a sense of Focus. With this clarity, you can prioritize tasks that wield a significant impact.

It's crucial to keep in mind that you are an essential member of the team, so avoid getting too immersed in coding and instead ensure that every team member has the freedom and support they need to excel in their roles.

Communicating Effectively with Stakeholders

Effective communication with stakeholders is essential for the success of any project. Tech leads often need to bridge the gap between technical and non-technical team members. Let's be honest - we know how technology works, but if we can't explain complex terms to stakeholders in a simple way, we're failing.

To communicate complex technical concepts to stakeholders, empathize with their perspective, assess their level of technical understanding, and tailor your communication accordingly.

For example, instead of saying:

We're refactoring the codebase to adhere to the DRY principle.

You can say:

We're cleaning up our code to eliminate repetition.

The second sentence is more concise and easier to understand for stakeholders who may not be familiar with the term "refactoring" or the DRY principle.

To improve your communication skills and connect with stakeholders more effectively it is important to become familiar with business language considering key elements such as value, timelines, risk and user experience. Integrating these terms into your communication shows that you understand their perspective and priorities and provides them with clear expectations.

Proactively sharing updates based on these elements keeps stakeholders informed without them having to initiate requests. This demonstrates your commitment to transparency and collaboration, and also builds trust.

Another essential factor is to promote active listening, always prioritize collecting all relevant information before offering any suggestions. Don't hesitate to seek additional details by asking thoughtful questions before expressing your point of view.

Managing Conflict

Conflict is an inherent aspect of team dynamics, even for tech leads. Effectively managing conflicts demands strong interpersonal skills. Such conflicts can arise in any interaction, whether it's within your team, with other teams, or across different areas of the company when disagreements arise over values, ideas, solutions, and more.

The most challenging part is when emotions come into play and take control of the conversation. When you realize that things are spiraling out of control, it's crucial to remember that we are all human, and our emotions often guide our actions. In such moments, you should seek alternative strategies to steer the conversation back to a more positive and constructive path.

In most cases, conflicts tend to arise when we attempt to address a shared problem using different solutions. In such instances, it's essential to keep in mind that everyone's goal is to excel in their respective roles. Therefore, it's crucial to identify common ground, reach an agreement on that aspect, and then gradually work through the remaining differences until you find the most agreeable solution with the other person.

As Tech Leads it is vital to foster a harmonious work environment, this involves promoting open and respectful communication, stepping in to mediate disputes as necessary, and setting up clear conflict-resolution procedures. These processes should entail identifying the root cause of the conflict and then collaboratively working towards a mutually agreeable solution.

Motivating and Inspiring Your Team

Motivating and inspiring team members is essential to achieving project goals and keeping morale high, but during sprints we can get stuck in a rut and lose sight of our vision. This can happen because the team doesn't have a clear north star or because they offer so many features that they don't see the impact of their work.

When teams get stuck in a routine, it can block innovation, purpose, and engagement, but if you're in this situation, there's good news: you have the opportunity to change that.

The first thing you can do to motivate and inspire your team is to lead by example, create a positive and supportive work environment, challenge your team members to "make it work" and "do better" on each task. Remind them why they are doing the work and set clear goals and expectations so they feel comfortable sharing their ideas and solutions.

Another important factor is providing constructive feedback throughout the day, this builds confidence and helps people accept different challenges to improve their work.

Don't forget that we are all human and need our hard work to be recognized and rewarded. After a challenging project, take some time to celebrate with your team and relax! This will help you bond with your team members and solidify your role as leader.

Balancing Work and Personal Life

Lastly, and I think the most important pillar that supports everything, is finding the right balance between professional and personal life. Let me tell you my story:

When I first became a leader, I remember coming home from work and continuing to work on coding tasks improving components that didn't need improvement or increasing test coverage to over 90% just because it felt good. But this routine led to exhaustion and my performance the next day suffered. I didn't have the clarity to make good decisions, the energy to communicate effectively, or the understanding to handle conflict.

This situation made me think, "What am I doing with my life?" I realized that we have limited energy and need to embrace other areas of life.

Here is my strategy for preventing burnout:

Set boundaries: Working for more than 8 hours on the same thing will decrease focus and creativity, and in the short term, it will affect your ability to deliver value.

Take regular breaks: Your brain is a machine that works better when you give it time to connect new information. Try using the Pomodoro technique to work in short bursts with breaks in between.

Prioritize your health: Your brain is a muscle, and every muscle needs energy. But energy comes from your body, so the best way to fuel your brain is to exercise regularly. Go for a bike ride, go to the gym, or take a walk.

Find time for creativity and hobbies: When you're more aware of other topics, your ability to understand every situation in life and work increases your creativity. You can learn new things by reading books, playing an instrument, or simply having fun.

Relax and rest: Your body needs 8 hours of sleep to recover completely. If you sleep less or more than 8 hours, it will affect your energy levels and you may feel stressed or sluggish.

Remember a well-rested and balanced Tech Lead is better equipped to handle challenges effectively and boost the team.

Bonus Tip

One of the best ways to improve your confidence as a Tech Lead is to learn from others. Seek out mentors and coaches who can provide guidance and support. You can also join online and offline communities of Tech Leads to connect with peers and share experiences.


Being a Tech Lead is a challenging yet rewarding role. It requires a strong foundation in technical skills, as well as the ability to communicate effectively, manage conflict, and motivate and inspire a team.

The strategies outlined in this post can help you boost your confidence as a Tech Lead and achieve success in your role. By prioritizing the right tasks, communicating effectively with stakeholders, managing conflict constructively, motivating and inspiring your team, and finding a balance between work and personal life, you can create a positive and productive work environment where everyone can thrive.

Now it's your turn! Which strategy from today are you going to improve first?

I hope this post has been helpful. Good luck on your journey to becoming a confident and successful Tech Lead!