Self-Confidence versus Self-Questioning

“In order to do this work you need two things in about equal measure: self-confidence and self-questioning.”  John, a psychologist and business consultant

In the mid-90’s I was working with a small group of fellow family business consultants on a case with a large family in the midwest.  Since there were about 35 family members involved in ownership and some of them in management of the enterprise, we needed a larger staff to do all that was necessary to gather, analyze and format all the data and conduct the meetings.

There was a good bit of contention in the family because some of them felt marginalized and excluded from the decision making process.  A lawsuit was threatened by one branch of the family which could have broken up the family wealth, the operating company and eventually the relationships for generations to come.  The lead attorney for the family called on us to help head this off.

One of the staff we used was a young psychologist  from Cleveland named John.  Over dinner on our first night I expressed my reservations about handling all the moving pieces and my concern that if we failed the consequences would most likely be severe.  My projection was that John didn’t have these same fears.  However, he looked at me and said, “In order to do this work you need two things in about equal measure: self-confidence and self-questioning.”

A light went off for me.  Since I was fairly new to this type of work and was then in the M.A. program working toward my master’s degree, I felt a little shaky.  I thought all the other consultants with advanced degrees and more experience were immune from these feelings.  What I learned that night was a lesson that has stayed with me ever since, we all feel lacking from time to time whenever we’re in challenging situations.

I realized I was leading, way too often, with my self-questioning.  This was not serving me well, nor was it serving our clients.  I learned during that consultation to lead with my confidence.  I had studied mediation, intervention strategies and theory but my main qualification was my 15 years of practical experience of working with my father in an industry dominated by family owned companies.

Since that time, John’s advice has served me well and I’ve learned to apply it to other situations and circumstances in my life.  For instance, when I’m teaching or doing a presentation for a trade association, I try to remember that I am the expert in this subject, I know what I’m talking about and others are there because they want to know more about it in order to help their clients or their own situations.

Think about times when you feel shaky in a situation.  Are you leading with your confidence or your questioning?  It’s imperative to have both, but if you are always questioning yourself and everything you do, you are handicapped and less than useless to those you wish to help.

Advertisements

About MentorBoom

It's been the blessing of my life to receive the teaching and friendship of some extraordinary people. I want that wisdom to outlive me by sharing it with others. MentorBoom, is intended to do that and to help us all find ways to live more satisfying and fulfilling lives.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Self-Confidence versus Self-Questioning

  1. Perfect, Robert! I am embarking on teaching a series of workshops and have let my self-questioning lead the way. Thank you so much for this perspective – it’s been very helpful. Diane

  2. June Neumann says:

    Robert – we have talked of this so many times through the years. Reading it again now brings an entirely new light to it. The “Aha!” moments happily continue. Thank you again for the opportunity to be reminded. June

  3. Customers like being remembered and enjoy the personalized touch.
    Most people need to use a reverse cell lookup website when they’re being harassed by anonymous prank calls or even just when they
    keep receiving calls from numbers they don’t recognise and don’t want to
    answer. E-commerce hosting refers to the vendor who provides solutions for any business who wish to
    conduct retail and trade services on the internet.

  4. Yes! Finally someone writes about agen judi online terpercaya di indonesia.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s