When does confidence become overconfidence? Overconfident people rarely check if others agree with them. They assume they’re right and often give advice a little too freely; putting themselves at risk of treading on others’ toes, possibly even being accused of bullying.
So when does just having confidence change to being overconfident? Sadly it can happen so incrementally that it insidiously creeps up on us. We often start a new role with a bit of shaky confidence, but keep at it til that confidence gradually builds. Over time we receive more and more accolades. And one day we can say we’re confident. Some time later that confidence means we stop checking some things with others around us; after all we know it now. But do we? Did we know it a week, a month, a year ago. And what other purpose did that checking have for us in our leadership?
Did checking, seeking feedback mean we were seen as ‘human’ and ‘approachable’? And now, not checking – what does that make us – ‘inaccessible’ and ‘impregnable’?
How are you seen? Is it worth checking? But beware. If you ask directly and you are seen as ‘inaccessible’ and ‘impregnable’, you’ll likely get a disguised answer designed by the responder to protect them from your ‘good’ and possible overbearing advice, rather than to give you a helpful answer.
How do you get out of this situation? One way is demonstrate that you are curious and interested in others views, not just interested, but able to listen and even change your views, based on the opinion of others. To start the process it may be best to apply this to non-work topics such as sporting events and other outside work interests your staff enjoy. I hope you know what they are?
If you’re troubled by how others may perceive you, perhaps make contact with us for support?