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Friday, September 16, 2011

Lean Quote: Fostering a Positive Self-Image

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"A good leader inspires others with confidence; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves." — Unknown

All people have a need for confidence and a positive self-image. How individuals respond to problems almost always reflects that their feelings about themselves at that time or their general perception of self. Research indicates that two-thirds of the population suffers from generalized low self-esteem. They have negative feelings about aspects of themselves or attributes they possess. This focus on one’s deficiencies makes it difficult to feel energetic, to be motivated, or to make positive changes.

A less appreciated means of damaging one’s self-image is the way they talk to or about them. Virtually everyone carries on an inner dialogue. This inner-conversation can be negative if it focuses on failure and shortcomings. Many of us, in fact, have been taught to depreciate our achievements rather revel in them. This pulls down our spirits and sense of achievement. It is one thing to suffer a defeat and feel discouraged but quite another to beat yourself up over it.

As a leader in your organization especially in a change management function like Lean you can change this by:

  • Listening to the discouragement without passing judgment, thereby giving them a chance to vent.
  • Providing ideas for remedy when asked.
  • Offering help (when needed) once the person has decided on a problem-solving course of action.
Build self confidence in others for a lasting change that really matters long term.

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