FEAR of failure, of losing, of not achieving the objective, of what others will say…, is always present in all of us. And although we live with them, we find it hard to recognize them. We look the other way…, and don’t talk about it!
You have probably found yourself complaining about things such as:
“I would like to delegate more…”
“Something is wrong with our communication as a department…”
“I doubt too much in every decision that I make…”
“Our teamwork is lacking…”
“It’s hard for me to network within my company…”
Delegation, Communication, Decision-making, Teamwork, Networking… These are just some of the many leadership competencies that shape a manager. And all of them, can be developed further in an executive coaching process.
Where to start?
Whatever your position is, if you lead a high-performance team there is a key and fundamental first question that I encourage you to ask yourself before focusing on developing any leadership competency:
What is the level of TRUST within my team?
If your answer is “low”; forget about taking any step forward before stepping back to improve-increase that poor level of confidence that is circulating within your team.
As a leader, in addition to this necessary foundation in your team that you will have to promote, there is “another different” confidence – the most important of them all! – and although often neglected, it will also be necessary to pay an attention to:
How am I, as a leader, in terms of self-confidence?
It will be a difficult task, if not impossible, to try to work with others -your team– when you still haven’t solved in yourself.
To develop your self-confidence, it is usually a very good start to question yourself about those “FEARS” – we all have! – that follow you in your role as a manager.
Once again, Professional Sports give us examples that you can surely relate to your particular situation.
When you see on TV that talented soccer player standing in front of the ball, a few seconds away from shooting a decisive penalty kick in an important final…, He is also afraid!
To remain paralyzed or to abandon in the attempt, could be a possible response to that “feeling” that invades him. Instead, what the athlete does is: Acknowledge it-Accept it and still advance toward his goal.
Fears never disappear, they will always visit us. It is about learning to incorporate our best “responses” to live, work, compete…, and score lots of goals, despite of them!
Some techniques-resources that high-performance athletes often use:
- Self-knowledge: They identify and recognize their best strengths to support their execution.
- Visualize: They mentally anticipate what they want to happen, recreating the best possible setting.
- Adjust: Outcoming expectations and previously trained skills always go hand in hand.
- Internal dialogue: The inner game of words with which the athletes speak to themselves; add and make differences.
Back to you:
What are my fears as a leader?
Writing them down, taking them outside and being able to see them… is the first great step to RELATIVIZE.
Don´t worry about that particular response you write, it will be the beginning to stop ruminating on what limits you. The best resource to “attack” any of your fears, is focusing on its worst enemy:
It is not about Fear or Confidence, it is never one or the other…, both are – and will! – always accompany us in our day to day with different intensity and proportion.
The more care-attention-focus you give to everything that aligns and creates confidence in you, the more your fears diminish. You will be training to change your FOCUS!
The ability you have to identify and CONNECT, for every one of your fears, with your new focus on some skill, ability or STRENGTH; it will open an excellent way for you to move forward.
You will be avoiding to escape or getting caught in a dead-end spiral. Instead, you will make them aware…, by facing them!
But this time, DO IT! supported by your best resources available to you. Taking care of your CONFIDENCE is a daily and particular practice…
No one else will do it for you!