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Imposter Syndrome and Project Management.pptx

  1. 1 20 MAR 2023 Tammara Buckey, MBA, EMPA, PMP, CDFM-A, CFE, LSS BB BDO, Senior Manager, Audit Remediation Imposter Syndrome & Project Management: How to Cope
  2. 2 Learning Objectives At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to: List signs and symptoms of Imposter Syndrome in themselves and others 1 Identify ways to overcome Imposter Syndrome by applying the ideas shared in the session 2
  3. 3 Topics We’ll Cover • What is Imposter Syndrome? • How Does it Affect Project Management? • What Does the Data Say? • Who Might be Affected? • What Causes Imposter Syndrome? • How Does It Affect Others? • Coping with Imposter Syndrome • Helping Others Cope with Imposter Syndrome • Key Takeaways
  4. 4 • A persistent feeling that your success isn’t deserved • Term coined in 1978 by psychologists Suzanna Irmes and Pauline Rose Clance(2) to describe the chronic feeling of inadequacy and incompetence, despite past successes • Not in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) • AKA Imposter Phenomenon or Imposterism • Common for overachievers What is Imposter Syndrome? (2)Clance, P. R., &; Imes, S. A. (1978). The imposter phenomenon in high achieving women: Dynamics and therapeutic intervention. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 15(3), 241–247.
  5. 5 5 How Does it Affect Project Management? • No one knows how to do • Are already behind schedule • Have limited resources • Have high stakes and high visibility • Are more difficult than the last thing we mastered • Are over our heads and level of expertise • Seem impossible • No one has done before • Or no one that looks like you has done before Project Managers often get tasked with things that:
  6. 6 6 People Domain(1) • Conflict Management • Team Building • Leadership • Mentoring • Empowering Team Members and Stakeholders • Removing Roadblocks • Emotional Intelligence (1)Project Management Institute. (2021). A guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK guide) (7th ed.). Project Management Institute. PMI Topics Affected by Imposter Syndrome
  7. 7 What Does the Data Say? In 2020, the US National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted a study(3) • Included data from 1966 to 2018 • Review of 62 peer reviewed studies with 14,161 participants Results: • Common among minorities • Negatively correlated with psychological wellbeing • Positively correlated with depression and anxiety Conclusion: • Clinicians and employers should be mindful of the prevalence of imposter syndrome among professional populations Recommendations: • Take steps to assess for feelings of imposter syndrome and common comorbidities (3)Bravata, D. M., Watts, S. A., Keefer, A. L., Madhusudhan, D. K., Taylor, K. T., Clark, D. M., Nelson, R. S., Cokley, K. O., & Hagg, H. K. (2020). Prevalence, Predictors, and Treatment of Impostor Syndrome: a Systematic Review. Journal of general internal medicine, 35(4), 1252–1275.
  8. 8 Who Might Be Affected by Imposter Syndrome? All Genders, Orientations, and Identities All Ages People of All Colors, Creed, and Nationality Early Careerists College Students Seasoned Professionals Top Experts in Any Field Unless You’re a Cat... You Could be Affected
  9. 9 Five Types of Imposter Syndrome According to Dr. Valerie Young(4), the five types are: 1. The Perfectionist 2. The Superwoman/Man 3. The Natural Genius 4. The Soloist 5. The Expert (4)Young, V. (2011). 6. In The secret thoughts of successful women: Why capable people suffer from the impostor syndrome and how to thrive in spite of it. essay, Crown Business.
  10. 10 Achievement Related Task Anxiety, Self- Doubt and Worry Over-prepare and/or Procrastinate Complete Task Sigh of Relief Discount Positive, Focus on Negative Increased Self- Doubt and Anxiety The Imposter Cycle The Imposter Cycle(5) (5)Clance, P. R. (1985). The Impostor Phenomenon: Overcoming the fear that haunts your success. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree.
  11. 11 It was nothing Nah it’s terrible Thanks, I hate it
  12. 12 12 Example Behaviors • Downplay past achievements • Feel uncomfortable with praise • Argue with compliments • Don’t speak up • Don’t go after goals • Lack healthy boundaries • Criticize yourself often • Sleep or mood disorders • High-achieving workaholic • Feelings of low self-esteem, unfulfillment, or being an outsider Do any of these sound familiar?
  13. 13 What Causes Imposter Syndrome? Classic answer… It depends There are many causes and contributing factors • Taught to be a perfectionist • Bullied into feeling unworthy • Parentification (Parent-Child Reversal)(6) • Comparing yourself to others • Praised for the wrong reasons • Rewarded for the wrong things • Survivor’s Guilt(7) (6) Castro, D., Jones, R. & Mirsalimi, H. (2010). Parentification and the Impostor Phenomenon: An Empirical Investigation. The American Journal of Family Therapy. May-June 2004. 205-216. 10.1080/01926180490425676. (7) Fimiani, R., Leonardi, J.,Gorman, B. & Gazzillo, F. Psyhub. (2021). Interpersonal guilt, impostor phenomenon, depression, and anxiety. 31-40. 10.13133/2724-2943/17528.
  14. 14 14 How Does it Affect Others? • At Home • Siblings • Kids • Spouse/Partner • At Work • Coworkers • Subordinates • Bosses • Clients • As an Entrepreneur(8) (8)Eddleston, K., Ladge, J. & Sugiyama, K. (2020). 'Imposter Syndrome' Holds Back Entrepreneurial Women. Entrepreneur and Innovation Exchange.
  15. 15 15 Case Studies Lupita Nyong’o Dr. Robert McGee(9) PMP Exam (9)McGee, Robert W., The Impostor Syndrome [A.K.A. 'Fake It Until You Make It']: A Case Study (October 23, 2017).
  16. 16 Who Said It? 1. “It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved.” 2. “No matter what we've done, there comes a point where you think, 'How did I get here? When are they going to discover that I am, in fact, a fraud and take everything away from me?’” 3. “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.” 4. “The exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler.” – Emma Watson – Tom Hanks – Maya Angelou – Albert Einstein
  17. 17 How to Cope with Imposter Syndrome Remember Past Victories Use Your Resources Positive Affirmations Act As If Cautious Optimism Prepare Like Crazy Trust the Process Trust Yourself
  18. 18 18 Disrupt the Cycle • Accept it for what it is and recognize it • Know that fear of failure (and success) is normal • This stems from a place of self preservation and self protection • You are not alone in this feeling, talk to someone • You will get through this imposter cycle and many more to come • If you recognize the signs and triggers, you can disrupt the cycle • The more you disrupt the cycle, the less bothered you’ll be when triggered
  19. 19 19 Positive Affirmations • I do belong __________________________________ because ______________________. • I do deserve _________________________________ because ______________________. • I earned ____________________________________ because ______________________. • I am capable of _______________________________ because ______________________. • I am uniquely qualified for _____________________ because ______________________. • I am smart enough for _________________________ because_______________________. Rewrite your doubt to reflect the opposite in a statement of confidence • I do belong in my role as supervisor because I have 15+ years of experience to prove I’m an expert in my field. • I do deserve a real vacation (no devices!) because I worked hard to set the team up for seamless operations while I’m gone. • I am capable of feeding myself at home because pizza rolls count! • I earned my spot on the team because I have successfully led 2 projects in a row and am capable of leading other teams too. • I am uniquely qualified for this project manager role because I’ve led multiple projects and am the person most familiar with the associated content. • I am smart enough to write a book because I’ve written thousands of words in my life, just not in any particular order.
  20. 20 Use Imposter Syndrome to Your Advantage • Let it inform your decision making • Let it fuel your growth and development • Let it be a sign that you’re about to level up
  21. 21 Help Others Cope with Imposter Syndrome Encourage and Support Others Provide Resources Promote Collaboration Communicate Openly Reward the Right Things Provide Opportunities for Growth Ask How You Can Help Build Authentic Relationships Advocate for the Voiceless Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Cues
  22. 22 Focus on Strengths • Conservative • Analytical • Risk-Adverse • Cautious • Meticulous • Protective • Grounded • Grateful • Committed • Data-Driven • Adaptive • Flexible • Brave • Strong • Empathetic • Compassionate • Seasoned • Committed to Growth • Agents of Change • Leaders
  23. 23 Process Map: Am I an Imposter? You are an imposter Not an imposter Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes Fix it and start over No Yes Yes Yes No No START No Are you already doing it? Do records show you’re qualified? Do you understand the basics? Do you have Google? Are the records incorrect? Are you committing fraud? Are you a cat?
  24. 24 Key Takeaways • Give yourself credit • Project Management is unpredictable • Imposter feelings are normal • Use your resources • Rely on the evidence • Share your knowledge to help others • You’re not really an imposter • But if you somehow are… give yourself credit because you deserve an Oscar
  25. 25 Thank you! Let's continue the conversation! Connect with me on LinkedIn!