Millions of people are plagued by low self-confidence. But in Confidence, personality expert Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic shows us that high confidence makes us less likeable, less employable, and less successful in the long run. He reveals the benefits of low confidence (including being more motivated and self-aware), teaches us how to know when to fake it, get ahead at work, improve our social skills, feel better emotionally and physically, and much more.
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Gemma is extremely caring and sensitive. She pays a great deal of attention to others’ emotions and is kind and considerate. Gemma is also quite optimistic. She is usually upbeat and remains positive even in the face of bad news. Her colleagues love working with her because they see her as a beacon of calm. No matter how much stress and pressure there is at work, Gemma is enthusiastic and never loses her cool.
Once upon a time, there was an enlightened organizational leader who spoke candidly about his upcoming retirement. “I am afraid about the next phase of my life” he would say, continuing “I’m not sure what my life is or will be without my job, without my career. How will I spend my time? How will I face the fact that I am replaceable, that the world can and will go on without me? How will I derive a sense of identity, power, agency and meaning once I am retired?”
Feedback is key to improving performance. And yet when feedback sessions are poorly delivered, they harm employee engagement and productivity levels. A seminal meta-analysis suggested that although almost 70% of feedback recipients will perform above average, 30% of feedback interventions actually hurt performance.
In the past decade, there has been much enthusiasm for the idea that behavioral change interventions are most effective when they focus exclusively on enhancing people’s inherent strengths, as opposed to also addressing their weaknesses. This is particularly true in employee and leadership development programs, with strengths having somewhat of a cult-like following among HR and talent management professionals.
Twenty five years after the term “emotional intelligence” was first introduced by academics, thousands of independent scientific studies have highlighted the importance of managing your own and others’ emotions in relation to career success, job performance, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
Although the scientific study of leadership is well established, its key discoveries are unfamiliar to most people, including an alarmingly large proportion of those in charge of evaluating and selecting leaders.
Although we live in a world that glorifies self-belief and stigmatizes self-doubt, there are really only two advantages to thinking that you’re better than you actually are. The first is when you’re attempting to do a difficult task. Believing that you can do something difficult is half the battle, but if you truly overrate your abilities, then by definition you will fail.
At the start of 2016 Google announced that it had discovered the secret ingredients for the perfect team. After years of analyzing interviews and data from more than 100 teams, it found that the drivers of effective team performance are the group’s average level of emotional intelligence and a high degree of communication between members. Google’s recipe of being nice and joining in makes perfect sense (and is hardly counterintuitive).
And yet the solution is surprisingly simple: If you want to motivate employees, stop following your instincts and adopt a data-driven approach. In other words, approach motivation as a science rather than as an art, not least because very few individuals, including managers, are naturally good at motivating people.
On the one hand, there are few bigger clichés than the idea that the best leaders in the world are self-aware and humble — but unlike most clichés, this one is backed up by data. On the other hand, most of us have had plenty of experience with CEOs who are self-important megalomaniacs.
How much do CEOs actually matter? Throughout the Western world, and increasingly elsewhere, individual performance is glorified over and above collective team efforts. This is particularly true when it comes to leaders and entrepreneurs. For example, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk enjoy cult-like status and are widely regarded as modern tycoons of innovation.
"Are CEOs Overhyped and Overpaid?" is from hbr.com, published on November 1, 2016.
Why are some people more successful than others? Leaving aside luck, which equates to confessing that we don’t really know, there are really just two explanations: talent and effort.
"Talent Matters Even More Than People Think" is from hbr.com, published on October 4, 2016.