13 easy ways for your team to cure the Imposter Syndrome
13 ways for your team to overcome the Impostor Syndrome - by Rozze Baleng.
These tips to how to diminish or cure Impostor Syndrome will work. Choose at least the three of these, the ones that suit you best and you will notice a difference within a month.
That’s a guarantee. I can bet two free coaching sessions on that.
1. First, let each team member diagnose themselves as a “Former Impostor”. Because from now on, no one in your team will be an impostor no more, your team is done with that thought and mindset. Action: Everybody in the team needs to write down the following - “The patient [your name] has now fully recovered from the impostor syndrome and is declared healthy” or “Dear [your name], we are proud to welcome you as a platinum VIP member of the Former Impostor Society”.
2. Label the thought or feeling “Impostor Syndrome”, when it arises. What do you think will happen? Yes - it immediately becomes much less terrible. Action: Next time the feeling comes creeping back, label it and share it with a colleague.
3. Accept your own main role in your successes. “Unable to internalize our successes” is one characteristic of the syndrome. It’s like we imagine that we were given an opportunity that others weren’t. It may be so in some cases. But everything that we achieve after that opportunity is actually deserved. So accept that you did do something to get where you are. You said yes when you could have said no (or, maybe more challenging, you said no when you could have said yes.) Action: write down three things you have done to be at the (leadership) level you are today.
4. Focus on providing value. I feel like a fraud mostly when I’m concerned about myself. What will they think of me? I don’t know as much as that other guy, I have no right to say anything on the topic. The fastest way to get over feeling like a fraud is to genuinely try to help someone else with what you’re best at. Action: Make it ok to offer your coworkers advice and help in their daily work. Sometimes just listening is the most valuable thing you can do.
5. Start savings in the “Testimonial Bank”. A client of mine started this earlier this year and it works great for him. Every time someone writes that I helped them I save that in my “testimonial bank”. When I feel like a fraud I sometimes look through the stories of people and clients I have helped. Because, honestly, it’s easy to forget that my stories about leadership or teams can do any good. Action: Save the wins, thanks, testimonials and then check your record when you’re feeling like a fraud.
6. Stop comparing yourself to the absolute best person. There’s no good reason for you to be reading what I, Rozze Baleng, is listing here. There are world-class coaches like Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, and Robin Sharma. But still, I’m coaching and motivating because I know I have something to offer. It’s about respecting my own knowledge, experience and just be in the moment. Action: Everyone in the team writes down the one thing that another coworker can do and that no one else can do as well as they can.
7. Learn to accept and give gratitude. Gratitude is a tool. That means that you can sharpen it and learn to use it better. Not only does everyone need to be able to give gratefully, but also to receive it… wait for it… GRACEFULLY. Action: Say thanks when someone does something for you. And even more important
8. Losing or being wrong doesn’t make you a fake. The best football players miss most of the shots they take. The best traders lose money on most trades. Presidents of large companies are wrong about stuff all the time. You win some, you lose some. It is just part of the game. Don’t glorify failure, but don’t let it make you feel like you’re not a real contender either. You’re here to learn from the losses. Action: Name one thing your team is going to enjoy the process of, however the outcome may be.
9. If you’re invited into the room, you belong in the room. One of my clients, a founder of a functional workplace design company (how cool isn’t that!), is afraid that she wouldn’t be up to par with what her clients need. She’s actually afraid to say something stupid and then people will “know” what a fraud she really is. But, if you think about it: You’re already in the room - you have passed the test, so now you could enjoy that you’re a part of what’s going to be created. And remember, not everything you suggest will become reality. That should actually comfort you, not terrify you. Action: From time to time remind everybody in the team that everybody’s needed.
10. Say what you actually know. Sometimes I’m are put in the position of “expert”. When this happens people look at me like I should know everything about a topic. At least it feels that way. I can’t know everything about anything though. If I’m in a situation where there is potential to actually be a fraud, instead of mansplaining things I don’t know, I just say what I can instead. People tend to respect this. Action: If you don’t yet have the answer but will find it or someone that can - admit it and take action.
11. Take action. Impostor Syndrome thrives in abstraction and procrastination. The best cure is massive amounts of action. It is impossible for it to survive when you’re taking action. Remember that real courage is not “not being afraid” but being afraid and to go ahead anyway. Action: Write down one thing that you were afraid of when you were younger, and then write how you eventually overcame that fear.
12. You are not you - do you understand? I’m constantly changing and becoming a new person. My opinions (hopefully) change with new information. I’m always evolving into something different, better, and wiser. Yesterday’s definition of myself needs to be updated with today’s truth. Action: Write down one noticeable change in your mindset/knowledge/experiences the last six months.
13. Talk to another former impostor, “I feel like a fraud” to. Being able to say that out loud to another person can be a huge help. Especially when they laugh at yourselves about it. This really helps, even if the tip seems quite basic at first glance. Action: Start talking to friends and coworkers about this. There are surprisingly many people out there that feel the same.
I hope that you found this article about impostor syndrome amongst leaders and team members helpful.
Do you want to be an even better leader and make real change in the way you perceive yourself? Do you wish to have a workplace where no one feels like an impostor? If so, you are welcome to book a free strategy meeting to get your leadership process going.
Rozze Baleng’s career as an entrepreneur but also as a business strategist consultant and head of communications for a billion-dollar investment company, and being a certified executive coach offers a unique combination of insight and methods to reach great results.