By Kevin Eikenberry
In economics, a key concept is scarcity. Scarcity is when people have unlimited wants but needs are limited. Scarcity creates value. When there is less of something it becomes both economically and emotionally valuable. When things are scarce, we treat them more carefully.
So why the economics lesson? Self-esteem is a scarcity in the world. This scarcity even exists in your workplace.
So, maybe you haven’t considered self-esteem as scarce for several reasons:
- You have a healthy self-esteem, and either assume others do, too, or you never thought about it.
- You don’t have high self-esteem and are in denial. You might even think you are the only one with low self-esteem.
- Your team has good self-esteem (or at least appear to)
- Self-esteems can also be misrepresented. Have you ever seen someone who pretends to have a lot of confidence, almost as if it is to prove it to themselves?)
So when there is a scarcity, it is more valuable. I have attempted to prove this in the case of self-esteem.
Another economics lesson: if you create more of a value item that is in short supply, you will become wealthy. For our purposes, this means that self-esteem is valuable to the people and to organizations. As a leader, you can help encourage and grow self-esteem on your team. This will help you be a more successful and satisfied leader.
So now what? Hopefully, you understand and agree with my premise. However, the knowledge of this alone isn’t enough. You are likely now wondering how you can help foster and grow the self-esteem of those around you and the people on your team.
Although fully answering that question is a life-long quest that requires introspection, values, and learning, there are specific and immediate actions you can take.
Turning Knowledge into Action
- See it yourself: In order to help them see something in themselves, you must see it. When self-esteem isn’t at healthy levels, it is in part because they don’t think they are capable of achieving at higher levels.
- Help them see it: Show them examples of success that they don’t see, downplay, or deny. Let them know you believe in them.
- Encourage them: Remind them frequently of what you see and speak positively about their potential.
- Challenge them: When you see potential in others, challenge them to rise to the next level. This may spur them to go for the challenge and grow their self-esteem based on their success.
- Listen to them: Try to see what they see so you can better help them to create a new picture of themselves and their potential.
- Support and affirm them: Every day.
As a leader, it is our role and opportunity to help people perform at higher and more valuable levels. Your people are a valuable commodity. They increase in value to themselves as well as to the organization, when they build a healthy self-image. You can grow their value by helping them grow that precious and scare resource.
Looking to grow your self-confidence as a leader? Drop us a line below with your questions, and check out other resources and workshops that are available now.