As leaders we care about our employees’ intellectual capital, and even their social capital. But we don’t always concern ourselves with our employees’ psychological capital. We should. If you aren’t sure what these three phrases mean, an easy way to understand it is to think of intellectual capital as what people know, and social capital as who they know. Psychological capital, on the other hand, is who they are, or who they are becoming. And there is a growing amount of research that shows that employees with high psychological capital are more productive and perform better in the workplace. The crux of psychological capital is resiliency, the ability to overcome challenges (both routine and traumatic) and bounce back stronger, wiser and more personally powerful.
A powerful visual to demonstrate resiliency is to compare a raw egg to a rubber ball. When you drop a raw egg, it breaks, scattering yolk and albumen everywhere, creating an unpleasant mess that someone will have to clean up. Conversely, when you drop a rubber ball, it bounces back up within seconds, with no harm done, either to itself or those around it. As a leader, your role is to help your employees shift from being raw eggs and grow and develop into rubber balls. And the way to do that – to actively seek to build confidence, optimism and hope in your people. Because confidence, optimism and hope are the three components that lead to resiliency. Confidence comes from setting your people up to succeed; let them take on small challenges that you know they will accomplish and then, over time, build complexity and frequency. Optimism and hope come from intentionally and thoughtfully creating a positive work environment by speaking up and deliberately taking action to combat negativity.
So what ideas do you have to build confidence and combat negativity? Please share by commenting below. And if you’re looking for some practical strategies, then these two past blog posts may be of assistance – Setting goals? To build confidence, go smaller and sooner and Strategies to deal with workplace negativity.