Magic beans for Christmas

self-belief at work

Christmas is coming, there’s nothing you can do to stop it, so let’s get into the proper spirit with our pantomime-themed blog series.

We are starting with Jack and the Beanstalk; according to Wikipedia, the story originated more than 5,000 years ago, based on a widespread archaic story form which is now classified by folklorists as ATU 328 The Boy Who Stole Ogre’s Treasure. That’s the serious bit done.

Jack accepts a handful beans in a trade deal, he believes a story that they are magic beans. This is the cue for much derision but the beans are magic and after many adventures, Jack ends the story rich and happy. There’s no doubt he was foolish but if he hadn’t been a trusting soul the adventure would stall on the grid.

Magic takes many forms but we know that self-belief or self-confidence is invaluable to achieving great things.

Confidence and faith in your own ability

We’re not all blessed with abundant self-confidence, but this is what we think the confident person looks like:

  • does what they believe to be right, even when it is unpopular
  • is willing to take risks and seize their opportunities
  • admits their mistakes and learns from them
  • is able to accept a compliment graciously
  • is optimistic

There’s a particular form of magic that you can see in the workplace and it happens when a good manager supports and encourages team members to fulfil their potential.

Connected conversations

Taking the time to understand your team members, who they really are, what is important to them, what are their aspirations and career objectives is a great place to start. More managers need to work on making that connection with their staff, it’s the clearest route to improving employee engagement, performance, morale and productivity.

These are some other things that 10Eighty think will help a leader to support employees, boost morale and enhance engagement:

  • leaders who display integrity and treat employees fairly and consistently will build great teams
  • all employees should be treated with respect, the security guard, bus driver, receptionist, cleaner as much as the chairman, they are all team members
  • treat employees as if they really are the organisation’s best and most valuable resources
  • provide regular employee recognition and celebrate an achievement
  • communicate openly about factors important to employees
  • provide regular and constructive feedback and try to instil a coaching culture
  • provide opportunities for employees to develop professional skills and manage their careers
  • provide a framework for expectations and goals that facilitate positive success

And the moral of the story is

Jack takes advantage of the opportunity presented to him and it works out brilliantly. He takes a risk in climbing the giant beanstalk and it pays off. He took the magic beans on trust and really it was just sheer luck that things turned out so well but sometimes, just like in pantomime, everything comes right in the end. Don’t be too trusting, seize your opportunities and be grateful for your blessings.

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