Feelings of imposter syndrome are common in many workplaces, especially among women, people of color, and people with disabilities who are often made to feel like they don’t belong. This is a problem that you, as a leader, can’t ignore.
As a leader, it’s on you to make a conscious effort to create a culture where people don’t feel like imposters.
Authors Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey offer actionable steps managers can take to end imposter syndrome in their organizations. Doing so will require work at both the interpersonal and organizational levels, and success will depend in part on gathering data and implementing real mechanisms for accountability.
Addressing the issue starts with having a conversation and listening — really listening — to your employees. Be honest about how biases in the way we talk about “presence,” competence, and leadership can make people feel like they don’t have a seat at the table. Discrimination and bias shape our expectations of how leaders should look, sound, and act, making an invisible impact on seemingly neutral terms like “professionalism.”
The authors call on managers to stop calling natural, human tendencies of self-doubt, hesitation, and lack of confidence “imposter syndrome.”
Those who want women to lend their full talents and expertise must question the culture at work — not their confidence at work.
This tip is inspired by the article “End Imposter Syndrome in Your Workplace,” by Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey