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Tag Archives: self-confidence

Resilient people have an attitude of gratitude, even during tough times

I’ve blogged previously about how important it is to build resilient employees, but my guest blogger today wrote the book on the subject! I am delighted that Patricia Morgan, my professional colleague and friend, is here to discuss the topic of workplace resiliency, an issue that is even more critical today, given that so many organizations are facing an economic recession. What happens to the people that get laid off? How do they cope? As Patricia points out, people who are resilient find ways to be grateful, even during a recession!

PatMorganAn Attitude of Gratitude During the Recession

Headline: Suicide rate in Alberta climbs 30% in the wake of mass oilpatch layoffs. CBC News, December 8, 2015.

The increases in depression and suicide are familiar statistics in times of recession. But people with high resilience continue to count their blessings; yes, even during a recession.

They remind themselves of Meister Eckhardt’s quotation, If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you,’ it will be enough.

Our young next door neighbor was recently laid off from a job she loves. Fortunately, she was prepared to cut back on child care and other expenses. Also, she is wise enough to appreciate what is left for her and her family to enjoy. Continue reading

Self-awareness increases when you are able to accurately assess your strengths and weaknesses

Crow_PeacockSelf-awareness is a key component of emotional intelligence, of which self-confidence and accurate self-assessment are key characteristics. Self-confidence is certainty about one’s self-worth and capabilities, and accurate self-assessment is knowing one’s strengths and limits. I was vividly reminded to these two attributes a few weeks ago, when an elderly relative recounted a story from Indian folklore that I recall from cobwebbed memories of my childhood.

An elegant black crow lived in a forest absolutely satisfied and happy with his life. But one day, while flying through the forest, he came upon a swan. Landing in front of the swan, he said. “Swan, you are so vividly white and I am so black. You are so beautiful – you are the happiest bird in the world.” Much to his surprise, the swan replied. “Actually, I always thought I was the happiest bird on earth until I saw the parrot. The parrot has two colours. I now know that the parrot is the happiest bird on the planet.” Continue reading

Build resiliency in your employees

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.

eggRubberBallA 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.   Continue reading

Setting goals? To build confidence, go smaller and sooner

GoalsSetting goals is an important first-step towards achieving objectives and when done appropriately and regularly, it can be a source of great motivation for teams and individuals.  I often hear leaders refer to “stretch targets” – goals that require and effort or “stretch” to realize.  But the key to goal-setting that results in success really lies in attaining a balance – a balance between “too much” and “not enough”.  If the goals are too big or too distant or not reflective of the business reality, they will actually undermine confidence and eventually become de-motivators.  On the other hand, if the goals are too easy, or simply the status quo, they will not serve to encourage higher performance or productivity.

So what’s the solution?  Continue reading

Do men and women have the same approach to taking risks?

LeanInSandbergIn her book Lean In, Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg encourages women to “lean in”, to “be more open to taking risks in their careers” since “being risk averse can result in stagnation.”  She suggests that women need to “overcorrect” from their current risk-averse position in order to “find the middle ground”.  Earlier this week, Professor Karl Moore at McGill University’s Faculty of Management (and my fellow columnist at The Globe & Mail) penned an article about just the opposite, how men need to “lean out”.  Together with his student Shaun Collins, they make the case for why men “need to ‘overcorrect’ from their excessive risk-taking towards a more calculated neutral position”.  This point of view that not only caught my attention, but also echoed what I repeatedly hear from leaders (both male and female) in client companies.  Continue reading

Four things you can do to boost your employees’ self-confidence

bigstock-Psychology-Self-Confidence-Co-46487569Self-efficacy is your belief in your ability to complete tasks and achieve goals.  So in other words, it’s whether or not you believe you can succeed in specific situations.  Extensively studied by noted psychologist Dr. Albert Bandura for almost six decades, self-efficacy has important implications for your role as a leader; after all, when your people are confident and believe in themselves, their ability to get things done increases significantly.  So what can you do to increase your staff’s confidence and belief in themselves?  Dr. Bandura’s pioneering research has identified four factors that affect people’s self-efficacy.

  1. Experience.  Past success raises self-efficacy, while failure lowers it.  It is the most important of the four factors, so it’s worth investing your energy in setting your employees up for success – put them in situations where you know they have the skills to do a good job.  Don’t inadvertently set them up to fail by assigning work that they are not trained for or not capable of doing. Continue reading