It is always worth considering what impact we can and do have on the self-esteem and self-confidence of other. If these qualities in us are affected by external input from our parents, peers etc (i.e., others) then we too can have significant impact on the self-esteem and self-confidence in others.
Let’s consider as an example, the boss who wants to add some stretch to the expectations of his staff in order that they can develop and grow in their roles. How can he help them to grow and develop and achieve these goals? I would argue that one way is to reinforce their self-esteem and develop their self-confidence. These promote not only independent thinking and working, but also the security to approach others for assistance if and when needed. But what happens if this boss
- Sets targets, and then continually reviews them and re-sets them as they are met?
- Sets targets that are simply not achievable?
- Introduces so much stretch in the objectives that they push the individual beyond their elastic limit?
- Continually focuses on targets that are not being met and ignores those that have been achieved or exceeded?
- Provides criticism and objective advice without praise and reward?
These scenarios are all too common in business today; many through pressures to perform in difficult or changing economic climates; many through personal drive or feelings of the need to achieve or survive; many through ignorance. Whatever the reason, the end result is the same; underachievement, low morale, suspicion and loss of best staff (either voluntarily or through ill-health).
When the pinch comes the focus can be turned so strongly onto the objective that we neglect the means of achieving that objective, our staff. Survey after survey shows that the best results, greatest growth and greatest stability arise where people feel valued, rewarded and are given the freedom to try, in other words, where people have a feeling of worth (self-esteem) and the confidence to make a significant and recognised contribution (self-confidence). It’s also interesting that in many cases, reward constitutes little more than acknowledgement and being thanked. It does not necessarily have to be a salary increase or monetary award.
The problem is that in many cases, praise, thanks and acknowledgement have been consigned to the annals of history. The positive side to this is that where there is a cultural change from a praise vacuum to one of acknowledgement, the change in atmosphere, attitude and motivation can be remarkably rapid and greater than could be expected.
So, if encouraging others costs nothing, apart from a bit of pride, self-discipline and effort, but reaps such great rewards, what are the barriers to us starting, now?
- Office structure?
- … other reasons?
If survival, growth and development are priorities in our businesses then none of these barriers is too great to overcome. Most are personal anyway. And if it is a case of reorganisation or redundancy, then there can be little argument against the case.
The benefits of building self-esteem and self-confidence in others and ourselves are that we are laying the foundations for greater things; creativity and innovation.
More of that next time …