Michael Toebe

1 year ago · 1 min. reading time · ~10 ·

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Reputation Costs of Overconfidence

Reputation Costs of Overconfidence


Confidence is vital to success, as long as it’s balanced with a high level of sincere humility, character and competence. Overconfidence, however, is transparent to other people and results in a negative perception and judgment about us, our name and reputation. 

So why do we not recognize when we’re in a state or habit of the latter and why do we not do something intelligent about it when others question our thinking and direction?

Choose a word: ego, pride, stubbornness, insecurity. Regardless of what it is, the reality is important to understand.

Overconfidence, by itself, tends to frustrate and alienate people. We get experienced in a negative manner and are not viewed in a positive light moving forward. Trust decays. Our reputation suffers, a little or tremendously. Relationships — professional or personal — become badly damaged or come to an end.

Yet we often, regrettably, don’t see it, which is bad enough, or worse, do we see the arrogance and a little-or-a lot of stupidity. Carry ourselves long enough in overconfidence in our decisions and behavior and we will, undoubtedly, suffer consequences and pain.

So what now?

Create a strategy to prevent or correct it. This can include working closely with a trusted mentor or circle of people who will be honest with you, care about you, and communicate in a voice that you find respectful and will listen to and heed the feedback.

We can also create a checklist to, well, check ourselves on whether we’re swimming into dangerous waters of overconfidence.

List thinking patterns or behaviors that we know are sloppy and reckless and when we check the list later we can examine ourselves to see if we’re committing those errors. Write do

wn pointed questions too that we can ask ourselves and hold ourselves accountable for answering truthfully.

Share the list, if you are comfortable with it, with an accountability partner. Also ask them to reach out anytime they are concerned about you. It can protect you in a manner you might one day be most appreciative of them for doing.

Michael Toebe is the founder and specialist at Reputation Quality, helping individuals and organizations with consulting, ongoing advisory, coaching and communications to further build, protect, restore or reconstruct trust, relationships and reputation quality.

This article first appeared in Reputation Specialist on August 30, 2021.

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