What is your level of self-confidence, and what would your coworkers tell me about your behavior as it relates to this?
While these may seem like simple questions, I believe it’s critical to answer them before reading this article since individual self-confidence is the foundation for successfully obtaining personal and professional goals in our industry’s competitive marketplace.
You may be aware that J.K. Rowling’s manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone had been rejected by 12 publishers before Bloomsbury bought it for a reported $4,000. Many years and several books later, the Harry Potter series has been translated into 67 languages, and at last count, well over 400 million copies had been published. Rowling has gone on to become the first billionaire author.
In 2008, Rowling was asked to give the commencement speech to the graduating class at Harvard University. Throughout the speech, she recounted all the setbacks and rejections she endured over the years. Her message to the graduates was a simple one: Her self-efficacy endured.
Rowling is not the first person to accomplish great outcomes in life and credit previous failures for driving her to succeed. But I’m sure many of you are aware of or know talented individuals who experienced defeat and never tried again. This begs the question: What makes the difference?
Modern day business psychologists and organizational development experts have suggested that whether a person continues striving toward their goal or gives up comes down to self-efficacy.
Self-efficacy, I dare say, is not a common term in our day-to-day vocabulary, especially as it relates to successful businesses. Self-efficacy has been defined as an individual’s strong belief that he/she can successfully accomplish a specific task, goal, and/or objective thorough persistence and dedication. To take this a step further, many experts in this field of study indicate that self-efficacy is one dimension of self-confidence—a general assurance in our own capabilities, thoughts, ideas, and judgements.
Every one of us brings to the workplace our many differences and unique personalities, attitudes, values, and priorities. Consequently, high levels of self-confidence and self-efficacy exhibited by managers and leaders in everyday work situations, along with how they relate to others in their organization, will have a tremendous positive impact on reaching the organization’s goals and objectives. Conversely, the opposite is true with leaders and managers who maintain low levels of self-confidence and poor self-efficacy—the result will be poor performance across the entire business.
Your organizational behavior, or simply how you are interacting with and relating to others in the organization, has a direct impact on the organization’s goals. These principles of self-efficacy and self-confidence are critical because, in every organization, employees are taking their “read” from those in leadership.
In your company, do employees cooperate with or compete against one another? Do they support or undermine each other? The organization’s leaders have much more control over these behaviors than you may think they do. Their beliefs and feelings about themselves and their coworkers are shaped by the leadership team and by managers who should be guiding them each and every workday.
Is your organization suffering from constant conflict, negative emphasis, blaming, and finding fault with all the outside forces that affect our industry? Or does everyone pull together their diverse talents and skills to problem solve and develop plans to overcome setbacks with a positive can-do attitude?
I assure you that recognizing and addressing your individual level of self-efficacy and self-confidence will go a long way toward having more successful employees and a more successful business. And if you’re in a leadership position, you need to encourage organizational behavior by ensuring that everyone in the organization maintains a positive attitude that transcends into accountability, self-responsibility, loyalty, and a commitment to providing an extraordinary customer experience each and every time your company provides a service.
Scott Tackett is a Business Development Advisor for Violand Management Associates (VMA), a highly-respected consulting company in the restoration and cleaning industries. He is considered the leading expert in restoration and cleaning for Human Resource Development and Organizational Leadership with over 30 years of experience. Through Violand, Tackett works with companies to develop their people and profits. To reach him, visit Violand.com or call (800)360-3513.