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🛑 Stop faking it
Go against the grain.
Hey there 👋🏼
In today’s email:
Fake it until you make it: Careful with the snowball effect.
Truly listen: Connect with your teams.
Cool stuff on the web: The best stuff on the web.
Post of the week: 5-star on social media.
FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT
It doesn't matter how often we hear or read about impostor syndrome.
It doesn't matter how many years of experience we have.
We still feel it.
It always starts with a very soft feeling. Something that didn't go as you planned, or a little comment you overheard. It quickly gets out of control.
Like a proper snowball coming down a mountain, it starts small, but the feelings of doubt and insecurity get larger and larger until it’s all you can think about.
Now, we all heard "fake it until you make it". This is all fine until the sense that you're faking is rooted in your self-image. That all that you achieved is by faking it.
Add Peter's principle to this, and you get an explosive mixture.
For reference, Peter's Principle tells us that "the tendency in most organisational hierarchies, such as that of a corporation, is for every employee to rise in the hierarchy through promotion until they reach a level of respective incompetence." (Source)
The bottom line? You get this: Someone who’s been faking for years, whose self-image is of a person who only got to where they are due to faking. All is well until faking no longer works, and they hit a wall.
The question is, how to fight these feelings and truly succeed?
Be honest with yourself.
The best place to start is to understand your strengths and weaknesses clearly.
This is the cornerstone of everything to come: honesty and clarity.
It's time to drop all the vanity, look yourself in the mirror and very bluntly list where you are strong but also where you need to work.
Establish your baseline.
Set clear goals
Knowing your weaknesses opens room to draw a road of progress. A map of achievements.
Set small, achievable and progressive goals.
This will give you a step-by-step journey of victories in chunks compatible with your schedule and pace.
Track your progress
Reviewing how you're progressing in your goals is key to improving your chances of success.
You can do this by recurrently matching your evolution against your plan or increasing the recurrence by using a daily list of achievements.
The trick is that you need to analyse how far you have developed.
By constantly putting yourself in a healthy level of discomfort and continuing to train to improve your craft and improve in areas that might be necessary, you become a better professional and avoid Peter's Principle.
All can be consolidated in two words: Growth Mindset.
You're going to have ups and downs.
You're going to feel like a fake, like an impostor.
Learn to accept it.
Learn to embrace it.
As we lead teams or other managers, we often think of ways to improve our connection with our teams.
To me, one of the most important questions you need to ask every single member of your team is:
Are you OK?
These three words seem like a straightforward question with little effect, but it's actually the other way.
Asking your teams how they are feeling makes them show you care that their opinion and well-being matter.
But let me highlight this: You need to care.
Embrace this as an opportunity to perfect your active listening skills.
Active listening is often overlooked, but its the cornerstone of a good and sound relationship between you and your team:
So how can you improve your active listening skills:
Listen to the very end!
Think about when you're interrupted mid-story.
You might have a different point of view, and that's OK.
Listen without limiting what the other person is saying.
Ask open-ended questions.
They show the other person you're engaged in what they're telling you.
Ex.: "Tell me more about that." or "What can I do to help?"
But beware of the nod! Many articles suggest that you nod your head to tell the other person that you're paying attention but let's cut it out, please.
As someone who once worked with a professional nodder, you know when you're being listened to or not.
Take this opportunity to get closer to your team and show them how much you care.
COOL STUFF ON THE WEB
If you’re interested in understanding procrastination, Dr Tim Pychyl is one of the lead researchers in the area. This episode is an excellent introduction to procrastination and how deep-rooted this behaviour is.
POST OF THE WEEK
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Have an incredible week! 💪🏼
Parada 👊🏼 A Leader's Mindset