Self-Esteem is a Dead-End Street
Leaders seeing to boost their employees’ self-esteem are driving down a dead-end street.
Self-esteem reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. Many popular health and wellness figures like Dr. Oz and Oprah promote the value of having and raising self-esteem.
The scientific literature says otherwise. Comprehensive research by Roy Baumeister and his colleagues at Florida State University shows there is no evidence of positive outcomes after nearly two decades of teachers, parents and therapists focusing their efforts on boosting child self-esteem through school programs or therapeutic interventions. Baumeister says, “It’s become obvious that there is little in the new findings that the potentates of the self-esteem movement can use to bolster their claims.” Some studies even show a connection between high self-esteem and bullying behavior, narcissism and inability to tolerate failure and criticism.
Self-esteem is incredibly susceptible to outside influences, which opens the door for others to define our worth through what we wear, watch, drive and own. Self-esteem’t help build resilient and capable people.
Instead, self-efficacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-efficacy) should be the focus of personal and professional development efforts. Self-efficacy is a person’s confidence in his or her capabilities to mobilize resources necessary to address life’s challenges. More than 40 years of research led by Albert Bandura (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Bandura) shows robust support that self-efficacy is associated with a wide range of positive behaviors and that raising self-efficacy is one of the strongest predictors of behavior change.
At Next Element we’ve been measuring and raising self-efficacy for a decade. We have the results to prove it and an instrument to measure it. Get a MyNE account to learn more.