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  • Writer's pictureJamie Gustafson

Take Up Space

The concept of "taking up space" is more pertinent than ever in this complex, virtual, and flat world. This idea isn't just about physical presence; it's about owning your decisions, your confidence, and ultimately, your place in the professional sphere.

One book that has profoundly influenced my understanding of this is Presence by Amy Cuddy. I'm currently reading it for the third time with a teammate, and each time I read it, new insights emerge, resonating with me differently depending on where I am in my career and life.

Decisions Create Confidence

A quote from Presence that particularly stood out to me during this reading is, "Decisions Create Confidence." This simple yet powerful statement encapsulates a fundamental truth about personal and professional growth.

Making decisions, even small ones, has a profound impact on our confidence. Here's why:

  1. Clarity and Direction:

   Decisions provide clarity on what we want to achieve and the direction we need to go. They act as a compass, guiding us through the myriad of choices and challenges that come our way.

  1. Learning and Adaptation:

   Every decision, whether it leads to success or a learning opportunity, offers valuable input on what we might want to change the next time. This continuous feedback loop is essential for growth and improvement.

  1. Empowerment and Excitement:

   There is a unique excitement that comes with realizing we have the power to make changes and create new paths. This empowerment fuels our drive and motivates us to push further.

  1. Resilience and Trust:

   Importantly, decisions teach us resilience. They remind us that the world doesn’t end with a single choice, no matter the outcome. Instead, we learn to trust ourselves and our ability to handle whatever comes next.

The Role of Decision-Making in Leadership

If you are in a leadership role, one of the greatest gifts you can offer your team is the ability to make decisions. This gift starts with trust and is nurtured by giving room to grow.

Why Leaders Should Encourage Decision-Making:

  • Fosters Growth and Confidence:

  Allowing team members to make decisions fosters their growth and builds their confidence. It turns them into heroes of their own journeys.

  • Builds Trust and Loyalty:

  Trusting your team to make decisions signals that you believe in their capabilities. This trust builds loyalty and a stronger, more cohesive team.

  • Encourages Innovation:

  When people feel empowered to make decisions, they are more likely to take creative risks and innovate. This spirit is essential for any organization aiming to stay ahead.

How to Encourage Decision-Making in Your Team:

  1. Set Clear Expectations:

   Provide guidelines and clear expectations, but leave room for creativity and personal judgment.

  1. Offer Support, Not Micromanagement:

   Be available to support and guide, but avoid micromanaging. Trust your team to find their way.

  1. Celebrate Decisions and Learnings:

   Celebrate not just successes but also the learning that comes from every decision. Reinforce the value of the process, not just the outcome.

  1. Create a Safe Environment:

   Foster an environment where team members feel safe to make decisions without fear of harsh repercussions. Psychological safety is key to fostering decision-making.

Taking up space means more than just being present; it means owning your decisions and the confidence they bring. This empowerment is crucial. It starts with making decisions and extends to creating environments where others can do the same.

Ready to take up more space in your professional life? Start by making decisions, trusting your abilities, and encouraging others to do the same. Let's create a world where confidence thrives, fueled by the power of our choices.

Remember, each decision you make today is a step towards a more confident, empowered you. Take that step.

Young Jamie Ready to Dance!
Here I am as a young "dancer" taking up space and feeling joyous before I started to think I needed to apologize for being big. I work hard daily to feel that way again and never feel like I have to be small for anyone else. Make decisions!

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