Some new research shows that–surprise, surprise–managers who lack confidence don’t listen to their employees. Okay, it was a small study–41 managers and their 148 staff in a large oil company, but it rings true, doesn’t it.
The researchers confirmed their finding in a follow-up study that set up participants to be either confident or unconfident and then make a managerial decision. Again, managers low in confidence stuck to their own opinions and ignored the opinions of others while confident managers heeded the advice offered to them.
In the next part of the study, the researchers found that just asking managers to positively affirm their positive qualities by writing them about the made them confident enough to listen to other’s opinions and ideas.
Since we know that teams that share ideas are more motivated and organisations with open communication cultures that listen to employees do better, it’s in everyone’s best interests for managers to feel confident in their abilities, and therefore willing to heed the advice and opinions of others. So the next time you’re feeling less than ‘able’, here’s what to do:
- Remind yourself that you got your job on merit and you’re pretty good at what you do; then think of a few things you’ve done well recently.
- Put aside the need to know everything–no manager does.
- Enlist your team and the aid of experts to help reach a tough decision or solve a thorny problem.