When they say: “You’re great!”
But you think: “Not so much!”
A client I’ll call “Jack” retired from his job as marketing VP with a high performing company. After growing bored, he agreed to join the leadership of a large but struggling non-profit. Once he had time to look around and assess the situation, Jack began to introduce changes that quickly revitalized the organization. The board members was thrilled with what Jack was doing. When Jack took steps he regarded as basic, they called him a genius. When he offered new suggestions, they rushed to agree.
At first Jack was pleased with his positive reception, but he became increasingly uncomfortable with the robust flow of praise. On one hand, he feared the group would inevitably be disappointed in his ability, once he ran out of obvious ways to create improvements. On the other, he began to doubt his colleagues’ judgment, thinking that “they must be awfully naïve if they think I’m that great.”
Fortunately Jack is self-aware, so he took steps to assure that his discomfort with effusive compliments would neither impact his attitude nor undercut his performance. But a surprising number of high achievers find it difficult to respond well to praise for their work. [Read more…] about You can manage your “impostor syndrome”