Managers Need To Know If They Are Confident Or Overconfident

There is a fine line between being confident and being overconfident
There is a fine line between being confident and being overconfident
Image Credit: myri_bonnie

So manager – are you overconfident? I’m pretty sure that we all know that being self-confident is one of the manager skills that we all need in order to be a great manager. However, it turns out that there is a dark side to this trait – we can easily become overconfident. When we are confident we act decisively and challenge other people. When we are overconfident we become arrogant and we rush into bad decisions. How can we tell if we have crossed the line from being confident to becoming over confident?

Ask Yourself How Much Time You Spend Listening

So answering this question can be painful. Those of us who are overconfident really like to listen to ourselves talk. We do this because we assume that we are the ones with the answers and it’s our job to share what we know with everyone else. We think that what we are saying is valuable – even if everyone else does not. What you need to do is to take the time to see yourself as others see you.

One way to go about doing this is to use our manager training to ask coworkers whom you trust to tell you what they think about you. You can also ask your team for feedback. If you record one of your team meetings, then you can take a look and determine if you are the one who ends up doing most of the talking. Additionally you will want to determine if you are accepting ideas that are proposed by members of your team or if you are discarding them. Overconfident people will discard other people’s ideas.

Determine If You Originate Most Of Your Ideas

What happens when you become arrogant with your team? It’s actually pretty simple, they will shut down. You’ll know that this is happening when you discover that your team has gone silent. Why should they be suggesting anything to you when you won’t listen to them or you may even get angry with them for making the suggestion?

A good way to deal with this problem is to hold a meeting with your team and conduct what is called a “creative audit”. Take the time to think about all of the projects and programs that your team has recently been involved in. Who came up with the ideas for these programs? If it turns out that all ideas came from you, then you’ve got a problem on your hands. Two ways that you can deal with this situation is to appoint a team member to play the role of devil’s advocate when the team is trying to make important decisions. Another way is to have team members critique your solutions and try to point out flaws in them. By doing this you can show your team members that you really do respect their opinions.

Are You The Smartest Person In The Room?

Are you always right? If you are the smartest person in the room, you might think that you are. If you think that you are always right, then you are generally quite pleased with just how smart you are. In the event that anyone attempts to contradict something that you have said, then you probably think to yourself that they are wrong and that you are right. Let’s face it – you hate to be contradicted.

When this is the way that you think, you will often disregard obstacles to what you want to do. You’ll disregard risks and you’ll ignore any inconvenient facts that happen to show up. How to handle this situation? One way is to take time at the end of each day and think about how the day went. How did you mentally react to new ideas that were presented to you? How did you feel when you received criticism? How open-minded where you? You should also take the time to think about times that you tried to do something new and it didn’t work out for you. What did you learn? Take what you learned and share it with the members of your team. Make sure that you learn from your mistakes.

Are You Indispensable To Your Team?

So here’s a quick question for you: could you team succeed without you? If you answered “no” then there is a very good chance that you are overconfident. The result of this is that you often tend to downplay the contributions made by other members of your team while at the same time playing up your contributions. This leads to the members of your team starting to come away feeling devalued and ignored. Things will get even worse when the best of them start to leave your team.

One way to detect when you are having this problem is to keep track of the team members who leave. What you are going to want to know is why they left, how long they were on the team, and where they went. The key is to detect if your team has become a revolving door. You can deal with this problem by taking the time to give members of your team the limelight. Make sure that others know that members of your team were the ones who came up with the big ideas. Think of this as being a form of team building. Make sure to give more responsibility to the most promising members of your team.

What All Of This Means For You

Having a good sense of self-confidence is a key quality that can make someone a good manager. However, it can be all too easy for that sense of confidence to grow to a level where it becomes overconfidence. If you allow this to happen, you’ll be turning the members of your team away from you and you may be encouraging them to leave the team. You need to be able to detect if you have become overconfident and then take action to deal with this problem.

If you have allowed yourself to become overconfident, then you are probably not spending that much time listening to what your team has to tell you. Start to become an active listener and when team members make a proposal, listen and ask them questions about it to show that you hear them. You also have to determine if the ideas that your team are implementing all come from you. If this is true, then your team has probably stopped making suggestions. Take time to determine where the ideas are coming from and if it’s you, then ask your team members to start to question your decisions. If you think that you are the smartest person in the room, then take time at the end of your day to reflect on how you interacted with other people. If you think that you are indispensable, then make sure that you give credit to others on your team and provide them with more responsibility.

There’s no question that having self-confidence is a key manager skill. However, we all have to be aware that if we are not careful, we can allow this positive trait to turn into something dark – overconfidence. If that happens, then we have to take steps to realize that it has happened and then change our behavior to stop coming across as being overconfident. If we can do this, then once again we’ll be able to lead our team and get the best ideas to come out of them.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: How can a manager get their team to let them know if they have become overconfident?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Managers are aware that the modern workplace is having technology added to it every day. The new technologies that companies are using includes things like fingerprint and facial scanners. Every time that a worker gets scanned, more and more data about that worker is collected by the company. What is starting to happen is that workers are becoming aware of the enormous amount of data about them that the company is collecting. Workers are starting to go to court to challenge the company in regards to how their biometric data is being stored and used. What manager skills does a manager need to have in order to know about what is going on?