How important is self-esteem to your employee’s success? As managers, we all know that high self-esteem leads to high confidence and a high feeling of self-worth. These are critical traits in any employee’s success. Having said that, here is an important and introspective question: What kind of self-esteem does each of your employees have? If you do not know, I would challenge you to start observing your employees. Believe it or not, you can play a major role in making boosting their self-esteem and can change their attitude and performance in the process.
It has always been interesting to me that the term self-esteem starts with “self”. Our self-esteem is usually not determined, high or low, by ourselves, but by the feedback of those around us. We get a view of ourselves in our mind as to who we are, and our strengths and weaknesses, based on what others say to us and about us. As a manager, knowing this simple fact unlocks a key of opportunity for changing and improving our employee’s self-esteem every day. In essence, powerful words and affirmations can lead to a changed, more confident, self-assured and productive employee. I have seen this metamorphosis happen to thousands of individuals in my career. This is all possible through the power of words!
Have you ever had someone significant in your life (a spouse, parent, sibling, teacher, coach) who consistently told you that you weren’t good enough in certain areas of your life? Someone who tended to focus on your weaknesses instead of your strengths? Someone who was always correcting you? How did that make you feel? What was the impact and what were the long-term repercussions? Did it negatively impact your self-esteem, self-image and self-worth? Do you think your employees have had (or are having) the same experience in their life? As their manager, are you one of those critical people?
Now let’s look at it another way. Have you ever had (or have) someone significant in your life who told you could do anything? Someone who found the best in you? Someone who constantly built you up and focused on your strengths? If you have, and I hope you did, you know the positive impact that had in changing your view of yourself and building your confidence and self-esteem. That’s exactly the kind of influence you can be in your employees’ lives. No matter what negative feedback your employees are getting from others in their lives, you can counteract that with positive, encouraging words. By doing so, you will not only build up their self-esteem and confidence, but you will gain their respect, admiration and loyalty. These are qualities that make for great employees! It is all up to how you speak to and treat the people in your care.
Let me share with you some timeless words of wisdom and truth from the Bible that will support this point: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs so it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 5:29). You have the power to make a difference in your employees’ lives. Starting today, make that difference!