Be the LIGHT
I will start with this quote from Gloria Steinem which puts into perspective today's discussion: "Self-esteem isn’t everything, it’s just that there’s nothing without it.”
Self-esteem can very simply be equated to self-confidence. How an individual feels about themselves translates directly into their ability to perform effectively and optimally. A person with high self-esteem believes in themselves, feels good about who they are, where they've been and where they are heading.
One of the things a leader focuses on as they grow and achieve goal after goal, is building their self-esteem as they become more confident.
Then something happens to some 'leaders' as they get to positions of power or authority, where other people are looking up to them – they become so in love with themselves, that they take on the role of specialized self-esteem destroyer to others. I have realized that there’s something narcissistic about success, some folks begin to think that the world revolves around them – they are the greatest and nobody comes close. It could be the business owner, teacher, the parent, the spouse, the child, the manager or supervisor at work, the network marketing distributor at a higher pin level, etc. You can recognize them by their language: "You are not good enough; you can’t do this; this person is better than you; you are not so smart; why doesn't anyone get it? etc.” They have become condescending.
Great leaders in any field understand that helping build a person's self-esteem is one of the greatest motivational tools known to man. People perform better when they feel good about themselves. When you empower others by uplifting them and making them feel good about themselves, it makes you feel good about yourself also.
Are you a self-esteem builder or destroyer?
Obviously, taking on the role of a builder in life is generally more advantageous and fulfilling than that of destroying/tearing down.
There are always cynical folks around us. You know them: bitter, angry, arrogant, selfish. But I can almost guarantee you that you will be remembered more for the positive impact you had on people than by how much money you left in the bank.
How then can we take on the role of encouraging and uplifting others? By being a self-esteem builder, you just may help someone overcome a mental barrier they had placed on themselves. Great leaders are great self esteem builders for themselves and for others. This makes leadership fulfilling and worthwhile.
If influencing people in a positive way while building their self-esteem is a lifestyle you want to attain, consider taking courses in leadership at Creighton online.
4 things you can do:
1. Constructive criticism. When you give feedback, let it be accurate but encouraging; not discouraging, never deflating. Things do not always go right, people you work with will not always perform as expected – (remember that you do not always perform at high levels yourself) and so as a leader, when it comes to feedback time, it is very important that you find a balance between what needs to be said and how to say it constructively. Criticize the act and not the person.
For example, when a representative does not handle a presentation effectively, how do you correct them? “Congratulations, I know you did the best you could. Considering the fact that you have only been in the business a couple of months, that was great. We still have to work on your … (point out specific areas that need improvement), so that your presentations will even be more effective. I want you to watch me closely the next time I am presenting. I see great things in the future for you. I am excited, are you?”
You just showed them respect and showed them where they need to improve. This approach involved no tongue lashing, no criticizing behind their backs, no ‘I am going to push them to the side and do everything myself’.
2. Appreciate the people around you. Take time to tell team members the good things they do, the things they do right and how much that adds value to you and others. Showing appreciation and love, doesn’t mean that you are weak, it simply means you are treating others the way you would like to be treated. Voltaire once said, "Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."
3. Listen more, talk less. People often want to be heard. How can you genuinely help someone become better if you do not understand where they are coming from? Do you know that listening is a skill? The art of listening is probably one of the most difficult skills to master because our human instinct is to talk and keep talking. Take time to listen to others in order to understand them more and make them feel like they are worth listening to. Moreover you can always learn something new from them as well.
4. Share knowledge with others. Books, blogs, CDs, DVDs and other resources that have impacted you positively and helped in your personal development, share them with others. If these materials have motivated and inspired you, they will have same effect on others. This right here, explains why I chose to blog in the first place 🙂
All in all, one can never have too much self-esteem and one must work tirelessly to give as much to others.
In conclusion, I'll like to share these quotes with you:
“If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.” Barbara De Angelis
“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it is amazing what they can accomplish.” – Sam Walton (founder of Walmart Stores)