How to feel confident when company morale is low
I hear this one all the time. “How am I supposed to feel confident when… my boss rips on me all the time? morale around here is terrible? nobody pays any attention to what I do or say? everything I do is somehow wrong?” The question itself makes me crazy for two reasons–focus and power.
Focus. Generally speaking, you’ll find what you look for. The basis of this question is a cataloging of what’s wrong with other people, the company, the environment, you-name-it as a justification for the complainer’s misery. If all your energy is going toward finding all the things that are messed up, what energy could you possibly have left for feeling positive about anything? Change your focus. Look for what you and others do well and how you could combine your efforts to make change. Want to know the quickest way to change a sick culture? Change the conversation. Instead of talking about how stupid managers are, talk about what a client needs or what you learned about a competitor. This takes some effort and it could make you look like a goody two-shoes if everybody else is complaining. So what? If you want to feel confident, do it.
Power. If you’re giving people and things around you the power to define and limit your confidence, you’re sunk. Confidence doesn’t come from the approval of others. (I know a lot of people think it does.) It comes from getting good at things that matter to you. Persuading others to your point of view, getting all the facts about a complicated situation, holding your temper when others are losing theirs. Confidence is about being proud of yourself no matter what’s going on around you and no matter who says what about you.
So how can you feel confident when you’re in a nasty situation? Develop coping skills, ignore stupidity, look for what works and build on it, hang out with upbeat people, get your head on straight about what you can and can’t change. If it’s too big a mess or too overwhelming to even think about changing, get out. Yes, you can.