Self-esteem can be really elusive: for all ages. I heard a really nice insight from a client recently. She had attended a parenting workshop (just like managing people, no matter how many books on parenting you have read, the reality is sooooooo different).
Like most parents, she was used to telling her kids that she “was so proud of them” when they did something good: swimming carnival, reading prize, whatever. The facilitator told the group that while that was not a bad thing, it did potentially set up a psychological dependency in the child for the parent’s approval. The parent also owned the pride. The simple switch was to have the parent say to the child “you must be very proud” That very subtly asked the child to own the emotion and feeling and thus not seek the approval of the parent. Nice eh?
Is this applicable to corporate life? I think so. Of course we’re not fully into the parent/child dynamic but we do want people to own and acknowledge their own achievements and be proud of their work. Self-esteem is exactly that: you have esteem for yourself. Try it and see how you go.
Author: Richard Wentworth Ping, Wentworth People www.wentworthpeople.com.au