Want more confidence? 

Yes! Then this learning note is for you!  It will provide you with some great tips for helping you understand yourself more and create more confidence in all areas of your life.

Key Learning Prompts

  • building confidence takes deliberate practice
  • getting feedback from friends, family and colleagues can provide you with some awesome surprises
  • ‘great at’ lists create a foundation for your confidence
  • writing and reflecting helps to embed new learnings about yourself and strengthen confidence further
  • low confidence can lead to poor life and career choices so its impact needs to be managed just like any other ‘project’ risk

 

Warning! Low confidence can lead to poor career choices!

 

The Story – my clients and my own

 

I can pinpoint with minute accuracy when low confidence led me to make poor career and life choices:

  • 2006 –  I was in a crap role with a bully boss and I was offered a Test Manager role on a single project. I didn’t take it because it didn’t fit with my view of being strong at working across multiple projects vs one. I should have taken the role and saved myself another 12 months of bullying.

 

  • 2008 – I lost confidence from the previously mentioned role and began making very reactive decisions about  my job and also who to date.  I felt like I ‘couldn’t progress’, or I needed a relationship to ‘make me feel better/complete’. These internal mantras meant I kept myself down and limited my choices.

 

  • 2013 – I left a great role because I was sick of the office politics because I didn’t think I could ‘take it’.  I really just needed a holiday but the mantra of ‘I cant take it any more’ led me making a not great career choice to start a contract role that was then suddenly cut short (Don’t worry, I was working in a new role 2 weeks later  but that’s another story).

 

 

Being deliberate about maintaining your confidence is essential to a successful and enjoyable career. Bad choices can snowball and are easily made when our confidence ebbing.

Maximising Your Confidence

I work with my clients to help re-set and re-build their confidence. Some clients have this as one of their 3 month goals and others have this as set of supporting actions to make a goal easier to achieve.

The Four Steps !

A great confidence building suite of actions is to complete the following over a fortnight:

(1) List 30 things you do well – (can be anything)

(2) List 6 things you are GREAT AT!

(3) Write as much as as possible about WHY you are great at these 6 things

(4) Ask at least 2 past colleagues and 3 friends or family to describe what you are great at and then create a list, noting which attributes come up more than once

Follow up activity

Read through these lists each morning for 30 days and I’ll guarantee you’ll feel so much more positive and energised. Your confidence and belief in yourself will improve and you might even start noticing more things to add to your lists.

One Final Tip – Decision Making and Confidence

If you know you’re low on confidence then consider how it may impact any important decisions you have coming up. Write these impacts down and then work out (and write down) ways to limit the impact.

This will help save you from making a decision in the following way :

The options available to me are based on what I think of myself,

if I think of myself as a poor candidate for a new role

then I will find 10 reasons why I should apply for a lower paid, lower status position but

if I think of myself as THE BEST CANDIDATE EVER!!

then I will apply for an even more senior position.

 

 

Same person, confidence is the only difference and the impact is HUGE!

 

You’re awesome and I 100% believe that what you want is the right thing for you!!

Go for it!!

Now, I’d love to hear from you….

What makes you confident at work?

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Leading when you don’t have the direct status or power to lead

Being an influencer sounds cool but in a big organisation its easy to get lost and feel like you’re a nobody.

To thrive you will need to adopt a customer focus centred on relationships, build trust and credibility through small wins, practice patience and perseverance

I work in a role where I need to lead change, coach people in agile testing strategies and get agreement from very senior manager across business and technology teams. I have no direct power, no direct reports yet I’ve been successful by focussing on small wins, persistence and always being visible.  Its definitely tricky and not always good for the ego (especially when I’m used to running large team when that explicit power in just therein the role.)  I think its made me a better advocate for change though because I always need to be humble and demonstrate that I’ve heard what my stakeholders want, not just put my opinion over the top.  Its a style I hope to use whether I’m in an influencing role or manager role in future.

If you are in an influencer role, then this learning note is for you!  It will provide you with some great tips for helping you overcome the power dynamic and build indirect power through your relationships.

Key Learning Points

  • Accept that you don’t have direct power
  • Understand that your style will have to change to adapt to this
  • Relationships are now a focus
  • Be easy to deal with
  • Focus on being a positive and fun force for driving change
  • Build credibility
  • Patience is the key, along with being a consistent presence and contributor
  • Focus on goals not expectations
  • Ask, don’t tell

Be visible, approachable and easy to work with.

 

Prompts

Use the prompts to help ask great questions and find out more information when meeting with your team:

  • What relationships are key to getting decisions made?
  • Who are my key influencers?
  • What type of communication works best with my stakeholders?
  • Who are the best influencers in the organisation? What works for them? Can I pick up their style ?
  • What areas do I need to change in my style?
  • How quickly can I work on my projects when it is just me?
  • What will build credibility the easiest?
  • What is the the path of least resistance?
  • What small wins can I get quickly that will help build my credibility?
  • Who can best mentor and advise me?
  • What assumptions do I have?  How can I test these?
  • What can help me be more patient?

 

Where can you be more patient? What will you do today to create great relationships?

I’d love to hear from you, what will you do today to create great relationships? 

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