Overcoming low self esteem in the workplace calls on very similar principles to those that we reviewed in the how to build self esteem page.
But a small caution before we proceed!
The biggest challenge is the individual's own beliefs. While you can help them see what they have to offer, ultimately it is up to them how they manage their thinking. At the end of the day individual self esteem really is a self-help job!
Be very wary of taking responsibility for others mindset and/or personal choices or feeling you must improve them. This is their life, their journey. The best you can do is to create the conditions, (such as those described below), that encourage people to be the best possible version of themselves, so they can shine.
As a high performance team leader, you are striving to create a culture of quality - both in products, services and people. So you want to create the conditions that bring about quality thinking and action.
Creating the Conditions for Overcoming Low Self Esteem
Create a company that people can feel proud of. How high do you think people, who are work at Virgin fly compared to those of British Air? Think about the people who were start-up members of companies like Zappos, Harley Davidson, Google, Apple, Microsoft. How much do you think these people's belief in themselves has grown?
I would think we would all agree that each of these companies have high collective self esteem. Their team members wear it as a badge of honor, to say that they work for that particular company. When you work for a company that has an ethos, that others admire, you lift your game.
- Create service opportunities that your team can participate in together to support a charity or a group in need.
- Recognize and make use of each individual's strengths. When people are able to regularly use their skills and talents they become more productive and feel more fulfilled.
- Provide uplifting training on a regular basis. Most high performance organization's give as strong a focus to people's personal development as they do to technical and business skills.
- Regularly reinforce with each team member how their individual efforts contribute to the success of both your team and the company. Provide people with a hand written note thanking them for their efforts.
Refer to specific actions or decisions they took that made a difference and if you can provide actual results - e.g. profit increase, productivity increase, complaint rates down etc. Not only does this reinforce with the individual that they are valued - but it something they can share with their loved ones.
- Develop a real sense of acceptance and belonging within the team. When people feel they belong they have the confidence to be themselves and to provide input to their community.
Why Bother Improving Self Esteem in the Workplace?
People with high self esteem are:
- Willing to take risks
- More open to change
- View challenges as opportunities rather than problems
- Less inclined to complain, more inclined to get on and fix
- Self starting
- Willing to point out problems/flaws
Pretty nice characteristics to have in someone in a high performance team don't you think?
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