Have you ever heard of impostor syndrome? It is not just gobbledygook spoken around the water cooler. Impostor syndrome is an actual psychological pattern that frames the way people see themselves. It is something that can be overcome if addressed the right way.
This post will discuss impostor syndrome and how to address it through ongoing training. It goes without saying that training isn’t the only thing in play here, but it does go a long way toward reshaping the way people think about themselves and their accomplishments.
Impostor Syndrome Explained
Psychology Today contributor Megan Dalla-Camina defines impostor syndrome as “a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.”
Her definition is fairly standard. She goes on to explain that impostor syndrome is not an actual psychological disorder. Rather, it is just a way of looking at the world; a way that doesn’t line up with reality.
Someone experiencing impostor syndrome can easily feel like he is just holding on in terms of his capabilities and skills. He may frequently internalize feelings of inadequacy. Those feelings can manifest themselves in a genuine fear of being exposed.
Study data cited by Training Journal’s Peter Ryding seems to imply that upwards of 70% of all adults experience impostor syndrome at some point during their careers. Simply put, we all have those feelings of inadequacy from time to time. For some of us, those feelings make us see ourselves as fraudsters.
Overcoming with Training
Psychology suggests that a lack of skills and knowledge is at the heart of impostor syndrome. In other words, workers are not able to update their skills and knowledge to the point of being comfortable about their own performance. They feel like everyone else is doing better than they are. So what’s the solution? Training.
Solid training changes that pattern of behavior Dalla-Camina’s Psychology Today article referenced. It replaces it with a new pattern of behavior that reinforces the idea that a person can learn. With that in mind, how people utilize training to address impostor syndrome is important.
Adaptive Training Methods
One way of conducting workplace training is to hold meeting room sessions in which someone presents information and then the entire team talks about it. A better way is through adaptive training. This is a method of training that takes learners out of the meeting room and allows them to learn at a personalized pace.
Adaptive training is not mere information presentation. It is a means of equipping students with information that is actionable and intangible. Adaptive training relies on digital platforms that teach in a variety of formats designed to require students to prove they are mastering information.
The people behind Fulcrum Labs, a Salt Lake City adaptive learning company, explain that adaptive training is based on a combination of proven educational principles and new artificially intelligent technologies. This combination promotes learning and mastery rather than just exposure to information that may or may not be retained.
The primary benefit of adaptive training is better learning that produces better long-term results. On the whole, students build confidence as they go through their training because they are able to demonstrate proficiency. That kind of confidence is the primary antidote for impostor syndrome.
Workers experiencing the feelings of impostor syndrome feel like they do not really know everything they need to know. One of the best ways to change that is through training. And the best way to train these days is with adaptive training methods and tools.