What is self-regard?
Self regard or self-esteem is a prerequisite for effective leadership. It is critical for developing relationships and influencing others.
Self-regard is based on the beliefs you hold about yourself - the degree to which you accept and value yourself. This influences both how you behave towards others, and how in turn they respond to you.
A positive sense of self allows you to behave in a way that will engage and influence others.
A more negative sense of self can often lead to controlling or passive behaviour and difficulty in handling conflict constructively.
Additionally, if you have low self-regard you will communicate doubt and uncertainty. This can even extend to areas where you are a subject-matter expert, or issues that you are really passionate about – which leads others to lose trust in your leadership.
The foundations of emotional intelligence
The attitudes that you hold about yourself and others underpin emotional intelligence. If you believe that you are enough - that you matter - you are likely to hold yourself in high regard whatever the external influences are.
Everybody experiences a range of emotions each day – often positive, occasionally negative! The key is to remain “centred”. In other words, do not allow the negative comments of others, or your own negative thoughts, to divert you from your mission in life. Be happy with the person you are, and the person you will become.
As Eleanor Roosevelt put it: “No-one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
Some people are born with a high level of self-regard. Others are helped along by their parents or great mentors. But most of us have to work on it continuously, especially if we suffer any major set-backs in our careers. Positive self-regard is essential if you are to develop the high level of emotional intelligence that will enable you to see beyond these set-backs and stay centred.
A leader who is centred has balanced self-regard and will accept himself or herself unconditionally, rather than feeling compelled to behave in a certain way in order to please others.
As human beings we all have the capacity to judge ourselves and others positively and negatively. Our value systems might differ from someone else's - for example it might be important for you to achieve; You might therefore put people on a pedestal if they are high achievers.
Self regard is about being able to value yourself whether you achieve or not; to value your inherent worth as a human being and value others in the same way.
I often coach leaders who believe that their sense of worth must come from their achievements. But often the expectations that they set themselves are unachievable and they then judge themselves for their perceived inability to juggle the demands that they have created.
Leaders who value and accept themselves are emotionally resilient, have a sense of personal power, are clear about their goals both personally and professionally, and for the most part feel happy with themselves and who they have become. In fact, strong self-regard is also key to valuing the contribution made by colleagues and team members.
Reframing your sense of self
In the coaching programmes that I run it is a privilege to work with leaders to reframe their sense of self and to work with them to build their self-regard and self esteem.
By looking at how they view themselves - often through the eyes of others and their judgements - we can start to see how their behaviours have led them to creating situations and circumstances that are unachievable.
Often the leaders that I coach are high performers but they come to me in a survival state and are looking for tips on how they can build their skills around emotional, mental, physical and spiritual resilience.
By helping them to redefine what success in their work and life looks like, they start to see what strengths they already have and how they can build these to sustain their high performance.
Setting clear boundaries and being precise about what they are trying to achieve is often the starting point for this. Learning to say NO to multi-tasking and the 'disease' of busy-ness, and YES to focus, space and reflection, helps the leaders to recognise how their self regard or self-esteem is often linked to believing they can achieve the unachievable.
Those leaders that have a positive sense of self often project the same sense of value and regard on others and therefore use their emotional intelligence to really understand how they can support the development of their team and achieve great business results.
To book a Self Regard workshop for your business or to find out more about emotional intelligence development, visit the Emotionally-i-Fit website or contact Amanda Wildman by email or on 07815 743045 .
Amanda Wildman - Emotionally-i-Fit
Amanda Wildman - Director of Emotionally-i-Fit - is an expert in emotional intelligence and leadership development.
Emotionally-i-Fit runs assessments, coaching programmes, workshops and leadership retreats that help leaders and organisations to measure and develop the 16 metrics of emotional intelligence.