Beth Dutton, a character on TV’s Yellowstone, is one of my favorite characters, even though she is probably one of the worst managers and empathic human beings on TV. Why do I love her then?
Because she believes in herself, trusts her judgment, and owns who she is. Shortly after walking into her new job, she fires her assistant, who she correctly surmises is sleeping with someone on the staff. Simply put, Beth knows she is “the bigger bear.”
While I would not advocate for adopting many of Beth’s behaviors, I would push you to consider thinking more like Beth when it comes to trusting your judgment and decision-making.
Many of my clients have their careers stalled by not appearing ready to go to the next level because they do not trust their judgment.
Below are three ways to move toward a Beth Dutton point of view.
The first step is to realize when you are “checking in” with others rather than relying on your own expertise. When it happens, recognize it and explore what is going on. For example, does it happen when:
- Facing a new situation,
- Operating in the gray, or
- Working with a challenging person.
Understanding the circumstances will allow you to start to shift behaviors.
Then, peel back the layers and write down your thoughts on this topic. What are your inner voices saying when you think I can make this decision on my own?
Assess and Reframe.
The next step is to go through why you are qualified to make the decision and the benefits of making it yourself (if you have time, write it down).
It is not enough that the area is “gray.” Remember, most lawyers make decisions in the gray every day, and the more you do it - the more comfortable it becomes.
If you, on each occasion, continue to justify not making the decision and instead check in with someone else, it would be best if you found someone outside your organization to assist you in assessing the situation. I know this seems counter to my position of trusting my judgment, and it would be best if you still did it because it is likely that your fear runs very deep.
Make the Decision and Evaluate.
Take a breath and make the decision. Afterward, whether it goes well or not, take a moment and evaluate from a neutral position.
If it went well, take a moment to recognize your accomplishment and its benefits.
If it did not go as hoped, take a minute to learn from the moment and acknowledge that every person trying to develop and grow has had this happen. Those who are successful learn and try again.
Finally, when you doubt yourself and are not going to own your own power and make your own decision because you feel fear and doubt creeping in, I want you to tap into your inner Beth Dutton and say, “challenge accepted.”
Are you ready to leap from in-house technician to legal leader so you can have greater impact and control of your career, compensation, and courage? Check out Sheila's 7 Steps to Leap from In-House Technician to Legal Leader.