Do you often seek the approval of others? Do you also seek your own approval? Approval is the opinion that something is considered to be good or acceptable.
Approval can be a double-edged sword, either helping or harming you. Seeking the approval of others is not in itself a bad thing. Others may have the power to make something happen. You may respect those you seek approval from and value their opinions. The flip side of this is when you seek the approval of others because you are not confident in your own thoughts or actions. This can lead to making decisions or taking actions that do not serve your interests, giving your power away or coming under the control of another.
The first approval to seek is your own. When you take or contemplate taking an action, thoroughly vet your plans with yourself and make sure you want to go forward. You can ask others for input as you do so; that is not the same as asking for approval. In some cases, another’s approval may be necessary for you to proceed. In that case, first and foremost, have confidence in yourself and your decisions. From there, you can deal with the approval or disapproval of others.
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A key element of being valued as a manager is to value your self. Past posts in this series have focused on finding an organization that values your unique strengths and assessing to what degree your organization values you. Today, the focus is within.
Your self – confidence and belief in yourself will go far in encouraging others’ confidence in you. With self – confidence comes appreciation of your own abilities and what you have to offer to your team and organization. No one is perfect – self – confidence is not about that. Self – confidence can thrive, even while you accept failure and acknowledge there is room for improvement.
How confident are you? Do you look to others for approval? Do you judge yourself too harshly? Do you feel timid or unsure? Putting some focus on developing self – confidence and affirming your own value will go far in assuring your organization values you as a manager.
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It is challenging for change to occur without motivation. As you set your goals for coaching a team member, think about their level of motivation as they come into the coaching relationship. Are they motivated? Demotivated? What is their level of self-confidence in their skills and ability to perform? Determining this will inform your coaching strategy, as well as your initial expectations for the success of the coaching.
Motivation is often an inside job. However, you can still provide incentives that are intended to motivate. To develop the incentives, look back on your experience with the team member and what you think will motivate them. Engage the team member around the subject of motivation by including them in setting up the goals and approach for your coaching relationship and asking them directly what motivates or demotivates them.
Examples of motivating approaches that are a win-win for you and your team member include: training or another type of skill and confidence development, praise for work well done (past or present), bonuses for results and expressing your confidence in their ability to meet the goals of your coaching.
Without assessing motivation, there’s a chance that the coaching will stall before you start. Recognizing the importance of motivation provides a significant advantage to you and your team member.
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Receiving recognition for work well done is a good thing. Wanting recognition is healthy. Needing recognition can put you in a position of relying on others to feel good about yourself.
What is the source of your professional self-confidence? If your self–confidence comes from within, you are the primary influencer. You can take actions to build and project your confidence, enhance your skills and discern when you need to self-correct. You can develop the ability to sort through praise and criticism from others and take only the best of it.
Sometimes, professional recognition is not forthcoming in your work. If this is the case for you, take a look at what the reason is. There could be many. Some situations show you it is time for a change; others that there is something for you to improve; others that you may be working in the wrong environment and others that your need for recognition may be getting in the way.
Be the source of your own self-confidence and put recognition from others in its proper place.