In spite of my best efforts to hide it, insecurity will always be something I struggle with. Even on my best days, there is always a nagging voice in my head that whispers, “You’re not good enough.” My self-esteem has suffered through the years because I didn’t always know how to control this primal urge.
As I have matured in my self-awareness and grown in my leadership, I have come to embrace insecurity as an integral part of the human experience. That doesn’t mean I have conquered my deepest fears. Instead, I no longer view it as a weakness or treat it like something I should have abandoned years ago.
In my work with teams I often use a program developed by Patrick Lencioni called The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™. The very first behavior introduced in this model is building trust. As you can imagine, if you are insecure this step might seem like scaling Mount Everest.
What helped me to engage with this behavior in a new way was having a better understanding of myself, including what makes me feel insecure. Using Everything DiSC®, a personality assessment that identifies our behavioral preferences at work, I learned what makes me behave the way I do. But more importantly it showed me how my behaviors are viewed by others.
When I facilitate DiSC or Five Behaviors programs for my clients, they always comment on how valuable it is to be in conversation with their teammates about these behavioral traits. Instead of needing to hide their obvious quirks or flaws they can vulnerably share, knowing that their colleagues won’t hold it against them.
These occasions often serve as a catalyst for greater understanding of self and a new appreciation for others. As a leader, I know how these insights about my own insecurity have prompted me to grow and learn.
I never imagined that my insecurities would make me a better leader. But that is what has happened.
I no longer hide who I am from others.
That vulnerability has encouraged clients to often do the same. The trust that is developed through this approach means we are now free to contribute our best to each other and the work we do together.
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