Confidence: Changing Organizations For The Better
I want to be real for a moment and discuss a very disturbing trend. Over the years, we have seen an alarming amount of businesses that have, for whatever reason, decided to start focusing on nothing it money. Business is an essential part of our world, as we require work to survive. However, business is not the only thing in life.
As we struggle to make a successful living, we have a tendency to forget our humanity in our interactions with others. I have seen so many businesses no longer care about their employees and care more about the bottom line. All of a sudden, at some point, the culture is toxic, situations critical, and the organization is upended.
So if we are in that situation, or headed there, how do we overcome that and prevent that? If we don’t want to be there, how do we guard against it? In one short word: Confidence.
How does confidence help me?
I know. It sounds weird right? Well, let me see if I can go further with these situations. When a culture becomes toxic, often that comes from the people in the organization ignoring the moments that make them uncomfortable, and either out of fear or out of greed, they push those moments out of the way and choose not to talk about them.
When we are in a meeting, in mere moments, we can find ourselves in heated conversations trying to keep ourselves in the good graces of others. We no longer are focused on the true reason why something is happening, but instead we are focused on ourselves.
By focusing on why we are or are not confident in a situation, we actually remove the urgency and the intensity of those around us, and we are enabled to discuss what we are missing and identify the real issue.
So how can I focus on confidence?
We need to start asking the real questions that help us get out of ourselves. When we see someone responding defensively or contrary to our point of view, and we are trying to convince them to follow us, we might ask:
I see that you are lacking confidence in this situation. What can I do, or say, that will help you feel more confident in this?
Do you see it? You are no longer focused on you, but rather another. Confidence, or the seeking for Continuous Confidence, allows organizations to thrive in seeking the betterment of all involved not just the person doing the speaking.
If you really want to see an organization improve quickly, take their urgency away. Allow people to voice their lack of confidence and allow them to solve the own problems. When you don’t feel confident in something, perhaps you might say the following:
I am truly trying to understand, but I need some further help. I don’t feel confident about ________, could you re-word what you were saying?
When we focus on what we are feeling and why, or perhaps why we don’t feel a certain way, we begin to acknowledge our lack of knowledge.
Confidence allows us to progress
When we don’t understand something we start to become frozen. We are frozen from fear of action. Fear to act, comes because we are not confident in what we know. You can truly say:
The greater confidence I have, the less immobilizing fear becomes.
Fear comes from the unknown. We hear it in many forms many times a day. We might hear it when someone says, “I don’t know if we should ship this code yet, let me do some further testing.” We might hear it when someone says: “Hurry up, we need to ship this right now!”
Each of these statements come from a lack of confidence in one’s self or circumstance. Each causes us to make mistakes or freezes us from making the right choice. Each are solved by gaining confidence and understanding.
Next time you have a challenging situation, come at it from the perspective of confidence and you will most likely find a new way to solve the problem, something you hadn’t even considered.
Seek to understand. Understand to become confident. Become confident to act.