There is a popular quote with various accreditations and guises that goes something like:
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” This by Harry S Truman
As a whole, there is nothing wrong with this, in isolation it is not helpful. If people are genuinely working as a team, to the same goal and rejoicing together then it is fabulous. However, if part of the team is not appreciated for the value they bring, ignored for the service they contribute and not celebrated for their sacrificial endeavour, our normal human nature kicks in and demotivation or apathy ensues.
It is important to celebrate appropriately and to honour those who work hard amongst us. Scant praise will be seen for what it is – we need to do things well.
A quick, but not conclusive, survey of social media suggests that many who use this type of quote are in positions where they are honoured, celebrated and praised. Far less usage is visible from those without a platform. Surely that can inform us of something?
The flip side of this is that those who are not praised need to recognise the place where they place their identity. In the hand of God or the hands of men. Surely the highest praise is received from the former when He says “well done my good and faithful servant”
Do you ever have one of those conversations where someone refers to a member of the team in higher authority to support their case. Something like;
“I think this and …….* agrees with me” or
“…….* has asked me therefore you must give me the information I require.”
*insert name here.
These conversations are interesting and usually display the individuals lack of self confidence as they are unable to make a statement or request without supporting evidence. It happens regularly which may demonstrate that there are many people who lack confidence.
Have confidence in your own opinion. Have belief in your own convictions. It is more powerful that way.
This book subtitled “In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People” was bought on a whim but has proved to be most helpful. We all have those people in our lives (family, friends, colleagues) that we struggle to cope with or trust but are uncertain as to why – our gut instinct is strong on the warning signs but the actual evidence is lacking. This book highlights a distinctive type of person – the ‘covert aggressive”. In highlighting a number of case studies the book is very practical and a quick read. Its conclusions are helpful but in terms of the book, quite short and pithy with little meat on the bones. Definitely worth a read though.
In a little more detail:
The book is split into 2 parts, the first concentrating on understanding manipulative personalities and the second part on dealing effectively with manipulative people. The case studies are extremely helpful in terms of the way they are written and it is not difficult to see traits in anyone you meet. The danger is that you may begin labelling everyone that you meet, when in fact not everyone is ‘guilty as charged’. If you know of people who fit the character traits there are useful approaches in how to counter their manipulation but to most seasoned observers they are common sense.
All in all a useful tome that may be helpful to help search your own soul. I am glad that it reached my booklist and am certain that it will be one that I refer to on more than one occasion in the future.
as youthworkers we can have tremendous confidence in our young people, their families and our teams. It is not always so easy to have the same confidence in ourselves. A critical word, a harsh comment, errors and mistakes can lay us low, assault our senses and leave us crushed and in despair. More often than not we are left with a false impression because we have allowed the molehill to become a mountain.
Remember – you will make mistakes, you will get it wrong, you will screw up once in a while. That’s life, it does not mean you are finished.
Have confidence in yourself, a right understanding of your ability, learn to love yourself appropriately. Be confident that you are capable of many things – you are not a failure because you have failed. Learn to have confidence in yourself.