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

People with very high self-esteem are still
shaken and uprooted by distressing events – they do not have super powers. But
they are resilient.

They can be
positive and get over bad times because self-esteem gives you resilience; which
can be live 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 its 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, that 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 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, not worthy and all the other self-concepts they have that negatively
impacts 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


is changeable for the good or for the bad (Cooper Smith, Rosenberg and

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 effect our self-esteem and efficacy; as well as other people,
the media and the observation of other’s successes and failures.


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

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


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 patronising 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:


Use a variety of teaching methods to suit all
kinds of learners

Encourage active learning and problem solving

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

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

Encourage peer learning

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

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 required 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 in an engaging manner.

Ensure your training is appropriate to solving the
problems that they actually 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 own development and their own learning.

If people have more responsibility over their end result,
they are more likely to be successful in achieving it.

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