“He that respects himself is safe from others; he wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As coaches we recommend, and deliver, 360° feedback to our clients often. We are firm believers in getting feedback – in hearing others’ perspectives of how you’re showing up and what you’re doing.

We are also firm believers in having a strong enough sense of self that no matter what perspectives and feedback are shared with you, and no matter how much you need to hear those perspectives and change your tune, you don’t get pierced. We work with our clients to help them realize and remember how capable and strong they are, even if they have development areas to address and behaviors and attitudes that are getting in their way.

It is essential that leaders know themselves and appreciate themselves; again, even if there are ways they could or “should” be different. It is essential that they acknowledge their strengths and the value they bring – and then look for ways to improve.

I’ve delivered hundreds of 360° feedback reports in my tenure as a coach, and unfortunately I’ve seen quite a number of leaders reeling from the comments they receive. “I’m awful,” they may say. “No,” I always respond. “These comments don’t say that you’re awful. They say that there are behaviors you’re doing that are getting in your way. And a lot of things that you’re doing well that are helping.”

We need to believe in ourselves. We need to have confidence in ourselves and our abilities. Yes, we need to be open to feedback, and to learn and grow, but we also need a confident foundation in our strengths and contributions so that we can be open to the feedback, rather than pierced by it.

How do you build your self-respect?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For help in strengthening your coat of mail, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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