7 Tips for Building Esteem and Efficacy – for ‘Efficacy Effectors’ only!

7 Tips for Building Esteem and Efficacy – for ‘Efficacy Effectors’ only!

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Our sense of self, sense of belonging, and sense of personal power, all influence our self-esteem.

People with very high self-esteem are still shaken and uprooted by distressing events – they do not have superpowers. But they are resilient. They can be positive and get over bad times because self-esteem gives you resilience; which can be life-saving. If you have resilience you can get through anything. It doesn’t mean nothing hurts, breaks, or bruises you, it just means that you always end up brushing yourself off and getting back up again.

If you have self-esteem and subsequent resilience, a lot more opportunities are open to you as you intrinsically know that if everything goes wrong as a result of trying something, you’ll eventually get over it.  It therefore makes learning, relationships, work and every choice you face a lot less terrifying than for non-resilient people.


People with low self-esteem in the classroom tend to do less well in their studies.  They are also more likely to get negative attention as they tend to complain, refrain from participating, or disengage through their fear of failure and low efficacy.


The negative feedback they receive simply adds to their ‘evidence’ pile that they are useless, and not worthy, and all the other self-concepts they have negatively impact their already low esteem further. (Sarah Cordiner calls this The Efficacy Effect).


They deal with life by withdrawing and not taking risks or new tasks, or by developing challenging or helpless behaviour that deflects attention away from their area of weakness.
Either way, this means that negative messages and further reinforcement of their low self-esteem.


Self-esteem is changeable for the good or the bad (Cooper Smith, Rosenberg and Brandon).


In The Efficacy Effect, anything that influences self-efficacy is called an ‘Interceptor’ or an ‘Efficacy Effector’.


Our gender, socio-economic status, appearance, peer acceptance, and personal life events can all influence and affect our self-esteem and efficacy; as well as other people, the media and the observation of other’s successes and failures.


With knowledge and understanding, we can minimise social conditioning and personal disappointments faced by ourselves, the people we guide, love and teach.


We can teach people how to reframe their experiences, to have wider or differently angled perspectives, and that their value does not lie under conformity, social pressures or successes.


If we are willing and open to learn from our students and reflect on our practices continuously via ongoing feedback and assessment of our approaches, techniques and outcomes; We are more likely to make a positive impact on our students, and become positive ‘Efficacy Effectors’ in the classroom.


We must be aware that all learners have different motivations and different past experiences and may not all receive our training in the same way.


When you think you’re being kind, you could unwittingly be received as patronizing and offensive.  You must be aware that the past experiences of adult learners follow them into the classroom and infect anything, or anyone that they perceive as familiar with their preconceptions, attitudes, and even reactive behaviours. Therefore, we must be sensitive in the classroom to ensure we are harvesting only increased self-esteem and self-efficacy.


7 Tips for Increasing Self-Esteem and Efficacy in the Adult Classroom:


1. Use a variety of teaching methods to suit all kinds of learners
2. Encourage active learning and problem-solving


3. Get them thinking about and discussing how they will apply knowledge to their daily life and offer examples.


4. Encourage self-directed learning as much as possible while recognising individual learning needs and applying the guidance where applicable.


5. Encourage peer learning


6. Do not leave students to fend completely for themselves in their autonomous learning. Rather act as the facilitator of learning by providing guidance, resources for learning, and new challenges as they are ready.


7. Provide challenging tasks at the appropriate level.  Efficacy does not grow from simply succeeding in something; if it was easy to achieve, efficacy does not increase.  Efficacy is built through achieving something that requires effort.


Sarah’s 3 A’s of Adult Learning:


1)      Appreciate:
Appreciate the experience of your adult learners.


Appreciate that they all have different learning styles and experiences.


Appreciate that they are all individuals and appreciate their time.


2)      Appropriateness:
Understand how appropriate your training materials are to deliver the information engagingly.


Ensure your training is appropriate to solving the problems that they have


That your training and assessment is directly applicable to their lives and roles


3)      Autonomy:
This means that they need to be self-directed and they need to be responsible for their development and their learning.


If people have more responsibility for their results, they are more likely to be successful in achieving them.

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