People, Not Positions

smartceoWhen it comes to talent management, millennials may not be wrong after all

As seen in Baltimore SmartCEO

It’s possible that no other generation gap in the workforce has been as widely discussed as that between millennials and baby boomers. Millennials are that nebulous generation with no generally accepted start and end dates—Pew Research Center defines them as those born after 1981 while other soures say they’re born between 1982 and 1994. Regardless, they are the generation taking the workforce by storm, and not everyone knows what to do about it.

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Perception Overrides Reality

Coaching-World-Issue-11_-August-2014-30“You’re fired! You’re incompetent!”
“You are a fraud and a fake.”
“Did you really think you couldfool people for the rest of your life?”

As Published in Coaching World

These are the words that many professionals fear will be directed at them at any moment. As a result of this threat, confidence, risk-taking and focus are jeopardized, potentially stalling career advancement and satisfaction. These are the hallmarks of what Pauline Rose Clance, Ph.D., and Suzanne Imes, Ph.D., coined as the Impostor Phenomenon (IP) in 1974. IP is a feeling that high achievers experience when they deny that their accomplishments are “real,” or based on their actual skills and abilities. Instead, they attribute their success to external factors, such as luck, timing and the generosity of others. As an Executive Coach, I often hear clients express fears about their abilities, despite remarkable success in their careers. I listened to Larry proclaim his fear that it was only a matter of time before “they” realized he was nowhere near as bright, capable or talented as he had led them to believe. Anita was certain that she had achieved the position of chief operating officer only because she knew how to be charming. “I charmed them all,” she told me. “What happens when the charm doesn’t seem charming to them anymore? I know I won’t be able to pull it off.” Jerry began to suffer panic attacks daily, fearing that intellectual inferiority would end his career. “And I have four children to take care of. I’m waking up every night sweating, with my heart pounding. I keep thinking I’m having a heart attack and can’t tell my wife. I’m in over my head, and think maybe I should look for another position at a lower level.”

Other common statements (and selftalk) include:

  • “Sooner or later they will realize I’m a fake.”
  • “How could I have fooled so many people for so long?”
  • “What will I do when they discover that I don’t really know what I’m doing?”

These comments demonstrate that feelings of being an impostor persist in the 21st century. Even the comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres has commented, “All of us, whether we are in [show] business or not, have little voices that tell us we’re not good enough, and we don’t deserve it.”

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Are You an Imposter?

Phenomenon makes executives doubt their own abilities

As seen in the Baltimore Business Journal
Rachel Sams, Staff

You look poised. You speak with confidence. You get the job done right.Your colleagues have no idea you lie awake at night, afraid they’ll finally discover how incompetent you really are.If you recognize yourself in those words, the culprit could be something called “the impostor phenomenon.” It’s the tendency of some high-achieving people to discount their accomplishments and fear they are less capable than others believe.

Psychologist Dr. Pauline Rose Clance and a colleague first coined the phrase 30 years ago, and Georgia-based Clance plans to reissue a 1985 book on the topic because she gets so many inquiries about it.

Clance says the impostor phenomenon occurs when a person’s idea of her abilities truly does not match up with the accomplishments on her resume. That leads her to fear that she will have a major failure in her job, which Clance says runs counter to another basic strand of psychology: Typically, when we succeed at a task once, we expect to have a good chance of succeeding at it next time.

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The Coaches

Susan Hahn

As seen in the Baltimore Business Journal

Moria Byrne, Contributor

If Susan Hahn is working hard, she wants you to work harder.

As an executive coach with Baltimore consulting firm Swan Consulting LLC, Hahn can tell when her clients have been forced to accept coaching or when they just don’t give a darn about the goals that are within their grasp.

“If it gets to the point where I am working harder than the client, I don’t hesitate to terminate the [coaching] relationship,” Hahn said. “I know when a client’s heart isn’t in it.”

There is little doubt Hahn’s heart is in her work. Passionate and enthusiastic, Hahn has been coaching executives for 26 years, three as an independent coach with Swan Consulting. Continue reading “The Coaches” »