One of the partners of a global management consultancy voiced a concern that in mid career he’d recently started to get nervous about presenting; especially in-house. We quickly identified that he’d fallen prey to the Imposter Syndrome. A phenomenon prevalent in senior management and one that our executive coaching programs address. *
There are five potential ingredients in this syndrome:-
- The Curse of Perfectionism: since it’s practically impossible to be perfect, then by definition you’re wrong. Attempts to hide this can be very painful.
- Diligence: gifted people work harder to prove they’re not imposters, which means that they have to keep working harder… and harder…
- The Pleaser: gives supervisors the answers think they want, which often gives rise to an increase in feelings of being a fake.”
- Charm: when praise or recognition is given out by a supervisor, the person infers that it’s based on their charm not on their abilities
- The Tall Poppy Syndrome: (not just an Australian phenomenon) this person may think that if they actually believe in their abilities and their intelligence they will be rejected by others, therefore they may convince themselves that they are not intelligent, or do not deserve success simply to avoid this possibility.
They may just ‘dumb down’.
In this case his problem was with the last, (number five) and even though he had some remarkable achievements under his belt, he felt that he wasn’t ‘interesting’ enough when meeting high-level people in international forums. This is the type of client and circumstance where Richard works at his best. Having worked extensively with top professionals, senior managers and lawyers, he uses his background as a theatre director, actor and executive coach to take anyone with a powerful message to deliver to the next level.
Call Richard on 0401 555 498 to have a chat about what he can do for you and your team.
* Initially named in 1991 by two professors of psychology from Stanford University; S. Imes and P. Clance, who guesstimated that at any one time 75% of management is falling prey to this phenomenon