productivity tips · Oct 18, 2022

Imposter Syndrome: What is it and How Hybrid Teams Can Avoid it?

Disengaged employees

Do you ever feel like a fraud at work, like you're just winging it and sooner or later you're going to be found out? If so, you may be experiencing imposter syndrome.

If you're a leader, there's a good chance you've experienced it at some point in your career.

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon where people doubt their accomplishments and feel like they're faking their success.

As a leader, it's important to be aware of imposter syndrome and take steps to avoid it from affecting your team. In this post, we'll discuss what imposter syndrome is and how as a leader you can help your team overcome it.

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What is imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon whereby people doubt their achievements and think they are only successful due to luck, rather than ability.

Put more technically, imposter syndrome is a pattern of thinking where individuals doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".

It's common among high achievers and often leads to feelings of anxiety and inadequacy.

It's something that can affect anyone, regardless of intelligence or ability level. For leaders, it's important to be aware of imposter syndrome and its effects on team morale and productivity.

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Common symptoms and characteristics of imposter syndrome

There are many possible causes of imposter syndrome, but one key factor is a lack of feedback. When we don't receive regular feedback, it's easy to fill the void with negative self-talk.

Some common symptoms and characteristics of imposter syndrome include:

  • Feeling like you're not good enough or that you don't deserve your success
  • Comparing yourself to others and feeling like they are more qualified or intelligent than you
  • Attributing your success to factors outside of your control, such as luck
  • Fearing that you will be exposed as a fraud or fake
  • Downplaying your achievements
  • Setting impossibly high standards for yourself

If left unchecked, imposter syndrome can lead to burnout or other mental health issues.

What can leaders do to help their employees overcome imposter syndrome?

There is a lot that leaders can do to help their employees avoid imposter syndrome. Here are 10 ways leaders can help employees:

  1. Acknowledge that imposter syndrome is real and that it's something that high-achieving individuals often experience.

  2. Encourage employees to talk about their feelings of fraudulence or self-doubt.

  3. Help employees reframe their thinking by emphasizing effort over intelligence or talent.

  4. Encourage a growth mindset in your team by emphasizing the importance of learning and development over fixed ability or intelligence. A growth mindset is a belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through effort and practice. This is in contrast to a fixed mindset, which believes that intelligence and abilities are static and cannot be changed.

  5. Provide regular and honest feedback to employees, highlighting their strengths as well as areas for improvement. Leaders can play a key role in helping employees to avoid imposter syndrome by creating a culture of openness and honest feedback. When employees feel like they can openly share their successes and failures without judgment, they are more likely to feel confident in their abilities and less likely to doubt themselves.

  6. Encourage employees to celebrate their successes, no matter how small they may seem. Celebrating successes is a great way to boost morale and motivation, and it can help employees to feel appreciated and valued.

  7. Help employees set realistic goals and standards for themselves, rather than impossibly high ones. By encouraging employees to set realistic goals, leaders can help them avoid putting too much pressure on themselves and feeling like they have to constantly strive for perfection.

  8. Encourage employees to seek out mentors and role models who can provide support and guidance.

  9. Encourage open communication. Open communication between leaders and employees can help to create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their concerns or fears without feeling like they will be judged or ridiculed. This can help employees feel more supported and less isolated and help leaders identify any potential issues early on.

  10. Encourage employees to take care of themselves physically and mentally by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and seeking professional help if needed.

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How to avoid imposter syndrome with remote workers?

There are a few key things leaders can do to help their remote workers overcome imposter syndrome:

  1. Be aware of the signs of imposter syndrome. Symptoms can include self-doubt, perfectionism, a fear of failure, and difficulty taking credit for accomplishments. If you notice any of these signs in your team members, have a conversation with them to see if imposter syndrome might be the root cause.

  2. Encourage and emphasize the importance of communication. Make it clear to your team that you're always available to talk about their concerns, struggles, and successes. Encourage them to be open and honest with you about how they're feeling.

  3. Help them identify their successes. Oftentimes, people with imposter syndrome downplay their accomplishments or fail to see them as successes at all. Help your team members identify their successes, both big and small, and encourage them to celebrate them.

  4. Encourage them to take risks. One of the best ways to overcome imposter syndrome is to take risks and learn from the experience. Encourage your team members to step out of their comfort zones, try new things, and experiment.

  5. Emphasize the importance of failure. Failure is a natural part of life and it's essential for growth. Help your team members see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than as a sign of personal inadequacy.

  6. Help them build a support network. Encourage your team members to connect with others who understand what they're going through. This could be friends, family, or even an online community of people with imposter syndrome.

  7. Encourage them to seek professional help. If imposter syndrome is severely impacting your team member's life, encourage them to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor.

  8. Model healthy coping mechanisms. As a leader, it's important to model healthy coping mechanisms for your team. This could include taking breaks when needed, setting boundaries, and practicing self-care.

  9. Be patient and understanding. Recovery from imposter syndrome takes time and there will be setbacks along the way. Be patient with your team members and understand that they're doing the best they can.

  10. Encourage them to keep going. Remind your team members that they're capable and deserving of success. Encourage them to persevere through the challenges and celebrate their accomplishments.

Project management software help leaders avoid imposter syndrome in their employees

Imposter syndrome can be detrimental to both the individual and the team as a whole, as it can lead to low morale and decreased productivity.

Left unchecked, imposter syndrome can hurt productivity. It can cause people to doubt their abilities and feel like they are not good enough to do the job.

Luckily, there are ways to overcome imposter syndrome. One of them is by using project management software.

How project management software can help leaders overcome imposter syndrome

  1. By providing a clear overview of what needs to be done When employees have a clear understanding of their tasks and responsibilities, they are less likely to feel like they are in over their heads. This can reduce stress and make it easier to focus on your work.

  2. By tracking progress and milestones Seeing concrete evidence of their progress can help employees overcome imposter syndrome and feel more confident in their abilities.

  3. By enabling collaboration Collaboration can help employees feel like they are part of a team and not going it alone. This can be particularly helpful for those who are struggling with imposter syndrome.

  4. By offering support Having access to support from leaders can help employees overcome imposter syndrome and feel more confident in their abilities.

  5. By providing feedback Regular feedback can help employees feel like they are on the right track and help them overcome imposter syndrome.

  6. By offering training and development opportunities Employees who feel like they are constantly learning and growing are less likely to feel like imposters.

Project management software can be a valuable tool for leaders looking to overcome imposter syndrome in their employees.

By providing a clear overview of what needs to be done, tracking progress and milestones, enabling collaboration, and offering support, project management software can help employees feel more confident in their abilities and overcome imposter syndrome.

Project management software

Don’t let your team’s productivity be hampered by imposter syndrome

If you’re looking for project management software to help your team overcome imposter syndrome, we recommend Quire, which offers all of the features mentioned above. Quire is a flexible and user-friendly tool that can be customized to fit your team’s needs.

Try Quire today and see how it can help your team overcome imposter syndrome and increase productivity.

Quire Marketing Team
Make Your Teams Succeed.