Self-worth for leaders – 7 tangible benefits

Written by John

As business recovers from the pandemic and adapts to a changed world, there are
tangible reasons to support your people to develop their self-worth. Some tips to do so
are included at the end of this article.

Benefits of self-worth

1: Self-worth allows people to focus on team goals:

Not just on their own cravings for attention. To succeed, we need people who are secure enough in themselves to contribute, to make decisions, to see things from multiple angles – rather than just being preoccupied with “how am I coming across?”

2: Self-worth brings two related benefits:

Energy and resilience. In a world where so many people feel overwhelmed, exhausted etc, these are precious assets—both for individuals and teams.

3: Professionals appreciate leaders who develop their self-worth and self-belief:

As opposed to those leaders who use their teams to fulfil their own need for self-esteem. Unfortunately many team cultures are self-esteem-based, rather than self-worth-based. This often means some leaders get the needs of their own Ego met at the expense of their teams: often resulting in the loss of good people, who get fed up of being patronised or micro-managed.

4: Clients appreciate suppliers and advisers who are focused on their needs:

Not just service ratings. If you are to be valued as a client’s partner (as opposed to just being their servant) this takes self-worth.

5: Self-worth is essential in negotiation:

Without self-worth, people have difficulty setting boundaries, saying No, managing scope and creating win-win deals. If they lack self-worth, they capitulate too easily, or take things personally, rather than focus on “Win-Win”.

6: Equally, self-worth is essential in business-development:

If we examine all the key skills that this entails: e.g. communication, presentation, adding insights, focusing on value…. all require self-worth to execute. Knowing the skill is not enough!

7: With or without your permission, your people are probably rethinking their
professional identity:

i.e. how their work fits into their lives. This is not just about what they do, but who they are in the workplace. So they gravitate to leaders and organisations who develop their professional identity. They won’t be engaged by superficial ”talent retention” initiatives.

So how can leaders develop a culture of self-worth at work: ideally one that develops
talent as well as developing business ? Here are some ways to start:

– In today’s busy workplace, you can often begin by introducing the subject of energy.
Many people feel swamped, fatigued or hurried: so co-creating some good team habits
to nurture energy can be a good starting point. Click here for a sample list of skills to
develop.

– Does your recruitment process make some effort to assess a person’s self-worth? If
not, you may end up hiring people that prove very expensive to manage; as the lack of
self-worth will surface in many forms of decision-avoidance, need for validation /
attention, overworking vs. setting boundaries etc. Include some discussion of self-worth
at interview stage.

– Do your staff development programs expressly reference the development of each
person’s professional identity? If not, consider doing so – more information about this
approach can be found here.

– When promoting people, consider their sense of self-worth. If they get their self-
esteem by wielding authority over others, or micro-managing, or slavishly complying
with regulation, then their leadership style may cost you many good people.

– Ask each team-member to think about how they introduce themselves. A helpful
webinar on this topic can be found here. You can also find webinars on a range of other
business-development topics, using a self-worth approach.

– Discuss professional identity and self-worth in your team reviews. Consider expressly
setting up a culture of self-worth—with your team—where each person is valued even
when they make mistakes, and where each person’s professional identity is developed.

To explore your current needs, or to arrange a session tailored for your team, you are
welcome to book an exploratory call here.

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Self-Worth Behaviours

Self-Worth Behaviours

Self-worth brings changes in behaviour: different from the behaviours driven by self-esteem. Here’s just a short selection: what would you add?

Begin

Begin

As we approach the beginning of a New Year, I love the sense of determination in Brendan Kennelly’s poem “Begin”. I see it as self-worth expressed in a morning walk by the canal: