The Ed Eppley Experience
The Ed Eppley Experience

Episode · 2 months ago

What's Worse...Too Little or Too Much Confidence?


In my work I get to see all kinds of talented people, at all levels of an organization. It's given me the opportunity to see the consequence of having too little or too much confidence. In this minilog I discuss the consequnces of both in your own performance as well as the stress it can create. Every manager will face this challenge, with their people as well as their own performance. This minilog will help you have a plan for dealing with it!

Welcome to the ED epley experience. Mini log let professional management expert Ed Epley Inspire Youth to take action on building a more sustainable, smart and healthy business. Hey everyone, it's at Eppley, back for another mini cast. I hope things are going well for you and the world is running on greased grooves, as John Houston said in a wonderful movie. Hey, which is worse, too little or too much confidence? Yesterday I did a session with an executive team where we did what we call the team effectiveness exercise, something I learned in my time with the table group. Starting with the CEO, each execut hears from his or her peers the one thing that they do that helps the executive team be effective, and then what each team member then also shares with the executive, each of their team members, is the one thing that they do that hurts the team or holds it back from even greater success.

When we got to the one member the team who heard from a number of his peers a very strong theme of you need to be more confident and you need to be more assertive, I thought that was very interesting. It made me think about which is worse, being overconfident or being under confident or lacking confidence. So I'm wondering what you think which is more dangerous and which is harder to correct, the lack of confidence or the overconfidence that really becomes arrogance. You know, as you think about arrogance, it's extremely dangerous because it gives the person who is behaving in an arrogant way permission to do one, or possibly both, of two very negative actions. The first is that they believe that the rules that apply to others don't apply to them and therefore they violate what are considered to be norms that we would feel that, frankly, or bad for either themselves or for the organization. There both. And then...

...the second thing. It allows them to believe that it's okay to not listen to critical feedback that they need to hear and, worse, not act on it. So there's a saying that I've come up with. I don't know when it first dawned on me, but and maybe someone else said it and I stole it, but in my mind I came up with which is there's a really fine line between being extremely confident and then it becoming arrogant, and that fine line is infinitessimally small, but the difference in the impact on others is monumental. It's huge the difference between being strongly highly confident versus that becoming arrogance. Confidence, on the other hand, is the belief that I have in my ability to successfully do something. Every one of us has certain things that we might have to do that can make us very unconfident. For example, a lot of people fear public speaking or, in some cases, skydiving or, in the business context, having to fire someone, and so we approached those in a less than fully calm manner and sometimes it affects our performance.

Sometimes we're probably not as bad as we think we are, but regardless, it puts stress on us and we don't like that feeling in most regards. So the path of fixing arrogance is humility. I have to fail enough or experience enough negative consequences to be open to the possibility that my behavior needs to change. And the path to fixing the lack of confidence is rooted in practice and usually repetitions with coaching. If I get a chance to do enough public speaking with practice and coaching, well I would venture to say I'm going to become more competent, more confident in fact, that's what's happened in my life. Believe it or not, it's not because I was born this way. If you think of me as a good public speaker, it's because I've had so much practice at it and a lot of times, a lot of coaching that went along with it. Back to my client. Now, I find it easier to fix a lack of confidence than it is to overcome arrogance. So in this person that we had who was encouraged to be more confident,...

I believe that's not a big stretch, relatively speaking, as it would be if that same person had heard that they need to be less arrogant. Arrogant people generally don't believe they need help. Most unconfident people universally want to get better or feel less uncomfortable from their lack of confidence. I've never seen somebody was unconfident about something who wouldn't have appreciated feeling better or different. So they more often respond to offers to help. Arrogant people will dismiss those same offers. So if you have someone on your team who is arrogant in some way, your job is to make them pay the proper consequence for their arrogance so they can be open to the offers to help them improve. And if you have somebody who lacks confidence, give them repetition coaching to help them learn that they can be better than they think. That's it for today's mini log. Look forward to talking with you very soon. HMM. Thanks for listening... the ED epley minilog. Visit www the epley group dot com for resources, tips, ED's latest blogs and a free assessment on where to improve your professional management skills. H.

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