Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Boosting Self Confidence

  • Have you ever tried to help someone be more self-confident?
  • Have you ever tried to lift their spirits when they've not performed well?
  • Did it work?
Many times we see our friends and coworkers struggling through tough times. Occasionally these tough times are caused by unimaginable external circumstances (like the death of a loved one). Other times, they are caused by external circumstances that seem surmountable but for the person going through it may appear insurmountable.
How can we help?
Axiology, the study of human value judgments, can give us insight into self-confidence and self-esteem. In my blog entry from February 21, 2007, I talked about the 3 classes of value:
  • Intrinsic: Intrinsic value objects are unique, priceless, and irreplaceable. They can be valued an infinite number of ways.
  • Extrinsic: Extrinsic value objects exist in the common, public, sensory world of space and time that we share with others. Extrinsic value objects can be compared and contrasted with other extrinsic value objects. They have a finite set of properties and are practical or situational.
  • Systemic: Systemic values do not exist in public space and time. They are not physical and perceptible things; they exist only as mental concepts constructed by our minds. They can be defined with absolute precision and every instance of them is flawless. For example, a "circle" that deviates slightly from being "a closed curved line with no thickness at all, every point of which is equally distant from its center" is not really a circle. These values do not have as many properties as extrinsic values and are completely conceptual and theoretical.
When our friends struggle with their self-confidence, we usually try to boost theirs in the way we like ours to be boosted. If their self-confidence is challenged in a way that your self-confidence is usually challenged, then your words of encouragement might work. If not, then your words will fall on "deaf ears."
Here's why... In the 6 Advisors metaphor that we use to talk about axiology, your Self-Esteem "advisor" is usually the area of our internal dialogue (what we say to ourselves) that is challenged when we talk about self-confidence. However, while the Self-Esteem advisor is intrinsic in nature, it has intrinsic, extrinsic and systemic subdimensions. Let me explain...
If you take the free 6 Advisors Introductory Assessment and go to the tab for Self-Esteem in your results, you will see a graph (even if it doesn't have any explanation along with it.) The graph will look something like this...

As you can see the main challenges with this client's thought processes regarding self-esteem are in the top and bottom bars of the graph. These are the intrinsic measurements or subdimensions within their Intrinsic internal dialogue. The thoughts that this person has about himself focus on his shortcomings as a person - an irreplaceable, unique, invaluable human being.
If you try to encourage this person by focusing on his intrinsic nature, your words may be overridden by his internal dialogue - these thought processes that tell him the opposite of what you're saying. He may not trust what you're saying to him. (Even if it is the 'truth'.)
However, if you focus on his extrinsic nature (represented by the 2nd and 5th bars on the graph), he may have a better chance of hearing and believing you. These bars show that his self-esteem advisor has a balanced capacity when it comes to seeing himself as a 'doer'.
When we look at this next example, we see that this person's self-esteem is challenged along the 3rd and 4th bars of the graph. These bars represent the systemic nature of how she sees herself.

This person's internal dialogue or thoughts about her ideas are challenged. If you say to her, "Wow, your idea is terrific!" Her response to you might be, "Oh, anyone could have thought of that." In effect, her self-esteem advisor may loudly (in her mind) disagree with what you said.
A person can have any combination of these within their thoughts about themselves. Understanding the different levels of value (intrinsic, extrinsic and systemic) can help you better connect with the folks you are trying to help.
The first step is finding out a little bit more about how YOU think! Click the link below to get started. If you review your results and are interested in more information, don't hesitate to give me a call. You can find my contact information on my website.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Getting it done with Power Sessions

Today I released my latest newsletter...

If you have ever run out of hours in the day before you have completed your list of tasks, this issue of Breaking Free is for you. Learn and practice Power Sessions to be more effective and accomplish more in your day!

Go to the June issue of Breaking Free: Get It Done with Power Sessions.
Plug into Power Sessions TODAY!