I’m sure you have seen and can imagine the many ways leadership fears cause great leaders to stumble. For me, fear has caused me to turn tail and beat it right out of the room and the opportunity!
Fears can take many forms: discomfort, incapacity, negative feelings, failure and self-criticism. Each carries numerous side effects, most rooted in a fear of rejection. Fears make a leader ineffective and paralyzed. When it happens to us, we forfeit plans and success.
The fear-reduction process has four fundamental pillars, as outlined by management consultant Peter Bregmen in Leading with Emotional Courage: How to Have Hard Conversations, Create Accountability, and Inspire Action on Your Most Important Work (Wiley, 2018):
Fears are greatly influenced by a lack of self-confidence. Leaders who boost their confidence address the most challenging of the four pillars.
Strengthen your relationships and support structure.
Practicing intentionality moves leaders farther away from fear through focus and an effective game plan.
Facing fears directly and exposing them puts them behind you for good.
Today, let’s explore the first pillar: Boost Your Self-Confidence.
Become aware of your feelings: The first step to gaining more confidence. Identifying feelings as they occur can help you pinpoint their causes, which are likely not as traumatic as you may fear. Envision yourself confidently navigating the complexities of your job, as you’ve done before, and regain your confidence.
Understand your motives: It’s helpful to learn what drives your actions, suggests Citigroup Managing Director Chinwe Esimai in “Great Leadership Starts with Self-Awareness” (Forbes, February 18, 2018). Build self-confidence by examining your motives. Honorable and reasonable motives help ensure successful outcomes.
Look for patterns: How do people respond when you act? If their responses are unfavorable, make corrections and learn from them. Positive feedback is a fear anti-agent!
Gain a healthier perspective: This can help you conquer your fears. Bregman suggests mastering irrelevancy. Step out of the limelight and accept more of a behind-the-scenes role for a greater sense of freedom and confidence boost. I love this one because, in addition to helping others grow, you get them more invested in the end solution.
In my next blog, I’ll dive into the 2nd pillar: Strengthen Your Relationships and Support Structure.
I’d love to hear from you. What do you think? What form does fear take for you and how do you combat it? Where can you benefit from more self-confidence as you lead? You can reach me at email@example.com or learn more about my coaching practice at www.tracycoaching.com and on LinkedIn [https://www.linkedin.com/in/aboutliztracy].