How many of your people feel enough?

You have a highly effective leadership team. You have skilled teams and individuals working in many different areas. They are all producing results.

So what’s the problem?

From one perspective nothing, from another everything. Despite evident successes, many people, including those in senior leadership roles, disempower themselves and limit both their career potential and effectiveness through negative self-talk. Others experience “impostor syndrome”. Self-belief – a realistic evaluation of one’s own talents as being sufficient or the best available to meet the challenges faced – is important for everyone but is essential for effective leadership.

So how do you achieve that?

Awareness is key. When we become aware of our self-talk – the conscious and unconscious judgements we make about ourselves – we can choose to do something about it.

People have different versions of their negative self-talk so it will show up in different ways:

  • Sam will be reticent to raise a radical solution
  • Charlie will close down a colleague’s idea if it seems threatening
  • Jo will quietly acquiesce and hear only what is wrong rather than any positive feedback.

Although there are different versions of negative self-talk there are sound strategies that positively impact them each one. These include:

  • Noticing self-talk and judgements. As we have already said, awareness is key, so listen out for any self-criticism or negative judgements and notice the effect they have. For example, how they might prevent you saying or doing something you actually want to do.
  • Say “thank you” – and nothing else – when someone pays you a compliment.
  • Notice and acknowledge your own skills and successes.
  • Create a positive affirmation or mantra.
  • Collect “evidence” of external validation in a journal.
  • Notice your physiology – we tend to slump or close in on ourselves when we listen to our negative self-talk.

We know that noticing what’s going on for you and your team makes a real difference to the way people feel about their work and their life in general. Maybe you’d like to tune in and notice what you’re saying to yourself right now!

written by

Rose Dixey