What if I told you, the only way to get that ultimate pipe-dream; “a confidence that lasts” is to ignore aiming specifically at confidence at all?
The only way to get that feeling of ‘inner certainty’ is instead to focus on competence, or your ability to get things done, and I’ve got 3 quick and practical ways to build your skills, ultimately leading to the confidence you really want.
These are the THREE of the BEST TIPS to come out of the research with 40 executives from around the world for my new book and from the audiences to which I speak. All are people who, if you saw them in action, you’d doubt confidence had ever been an issue - but the only way they all got around it was by focusing on their COMPETENCE, particularly when it comes to handling others.
1. Redefine confidence
When people think about confidence, they often focus on what it looks like - speaking up in meetings, leading presentations, risk-taking and... not caring what other people think. In some ways it sounds glam, but it also sounds like many of our current politicians...
And I have yet to meet any professional who thinks they’d be a great hire or good fit for the office.
Instead, the best way to move past those very specific, and not very helpful behaviours is to define confidence more widely for yourself. Indeed, when I talked about wider ways of defining confidence, people I interviewed identified much more with: self-awareness, authenticity between your work and private self and a willingness to challenge the status quo.
Do you think you exhibit these traits? Would you say you had a ‘lack of confidence’?If you answered yes… is it because you’re: “Not good at speaking to large audiences”? Yep - that’s what OUR CULTURE has defined as CONFIDENCE… and many people within this group have done the EXACT SAME THING AS YOU.
Speaking to audiences or in contentious meetings is just one tiny part of being confident, and as we all know from listening to someone weigh in when they don’t know the facts, it doesn’t even require that much expertise! We all suffer when we credit certain people with confidence, even if what comes out of their mouth isn’t great quality.
NOW OVER TO YOU. Take 2 minutes out of your day - and I expect you’ll be surprised with what you discover. Write down all the behaviours you assume confident people do. These will range from some of the more positive like speaking up in meetings, offering to lead presentations to increasingly potentially negative, like taking unnecessary risks, speaking over others, disregarding feedback - that old ‘I don’t care what anyone else says’, that sounds glamorous, but isn’t great for teams. As you look at your list, you may be surprised with how many are actually negative, and how many of what’s left of the positive are actually trainable and just require you getting more experience and exposure to those challenges.
2. Collect feedback on what will give you exposure to the skills you need
The second thing to do is to ask other people about any gaps in your knowledge, expertise - your competence. They may say they don’t see many areas in which you could approve, or highlight things you didn’t expect. Either way, feedback is vital - we all get hired, fired or promoted, not based on how great we think we are, but based on what others think of us. When I’m working with corporate audiences, this is something they totally get!
One of the STEM leaders I interviewed said that his biggest concern wasn’t with the people who were under-confident in his team, it was those who were too confident. They take risks, make mistakes, don’t keep up to date with their field and blame everyone else around them when things go wrong. For him, and many others, that is a far bigger problem than people not having enough confidence.
So go out and have conversations, not just with your boss, but also your peers, junior reports and clients about what additional skills they’d like you to have. I can guarantee - confidence building won’t be one of them. People simply want you to be always improving in your job.
3. Highlight to people the skills you already have
The third thing to do in building your confidence via your competence, is to ensure that you talk about your experience with everyone you think might doubt you. This doesn’t mean you approach life like a walking cv, but when people seem to be expecting you to exude confidence, what they’re really seeking is evidence of your competence. So where necessary, before giving your opinion on things in the most ‘confident of manner’ - which may feel a big fake anyway, simply point out the experiences that have led you to that opinion.
Say things like ‘Based on the 3 other projects I’ve done with this size client’ or ‘The last time I talked with our senior leaders on this issue they felt…’ or ‘This came up in discussions when I was doing my latest qualification on X’. You’re not saying, ‘Look at me world! I’m the smartest person ever!’ which isn’t true for any of us. We are all ongoing projects, always learning and anyone who acts or tells you they know it all, is who you should worry about. They are both lying and also woefully ignorant of the complexity of most topics.
Let’s be very clear, competence isn’t about being smarter or faster. There will always be someone more clever or better-looking, that’s not a war you can win.
I hope you’ll join me in my mission to re-define confidence - please come back and let me know how you get on in your workplace.
WAYS TO CONTROL EMOTIONS IN WORKPLACE
Happy New Year, I hope you are well-rested from the break.
Today I'm talking about ways to control emotions in the workplace - something that I'm asked a lot about by my coaching clients.
Emotions at work are inevitable, but controlling emotions can be tricky. I’m sharing 3 of my most critical tips for managing emotions at work.
After I share the three tips, I’ll let you into a secret of the power of a single sentence.
(Which can reduce negative judgements people have of you by 20%, particularly if you are a woman showing emotions, like anger, disbelief or dismay at work.)
So grab a cuppa, put away the tissues and remember these 3 tips for how to control your emotions.
Are you ready to roll? Click the picture below to watch the full video.
As always, let me know what you think of the video in the comments section on YouTube.
Emotions at work are inevitable, but controlling emotions can be tricky.
I’m sharing 3 of my most critical tips for managing emotions at work.
Before we get started, subscribe to our channel and hit the notification bell so you know each time I release a video full of practical tips that will help you get you the career you want.
I’m Dr. Suzanne Doyle-Morris, and I’ve spent the last 15 years helping women with many career-related issues, including handling the mix of emotions, from elation all the way to anger, that feature in any career that’s worth having.
After I share the three tips that I’ve talked through with many clients, I’ll let you into a secret of the power of a single sentence.
whisper* which can reduce negative judgements people have of you by 20%, particularly if you are a woman showing emotions, like anger, disbelief or dismay at work.
So grab a cuppa, put away the tissues and remember these 3 tips for how to control your emotions. Are you ready to roll?
It’s normal to have emotions at workplace. People often dismissively say ‘ Don’t take it personally, but I get it, you take your work personally. You care, work is time away from your family and it’s wrapped up with how we identify ourselves.
Getting upset is normal because we’re all human.But getting upset in front of an audience can be a risk.
Don’t worry. There ARE ways to control emotions, and this can be crucial in your career progression.
Point 1: Check your language.
This isn’t about avoiding a swearing tirade at colleagues, though that would be memorable for the whole office. It’s about the language we use to frame our challenges. While our colleagues can have a large impact on our emotions, they don’t technically make you cry.
Before you react, check you’re not laying more of the blame at their feet than they deserve. I get it, we all work with idiots at times, but sometimes a comment is not offensive on it’s own, it’s just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
A camel that may also be carrying your feelings of being underappreciated, overwhelmed or misunderstood. No good will come of ruminating in language like ‘Nothing ever works out for me” or “They never listen.’ or ‘Everyone in this office is two-faced’. No one in this office likes me’.
There are always exceptions of when you did get ideas through and people did listen.
Think about changing your perspective.. Even slightly to:
“This sucks, but I’ll be better prepared next time.’
This does two things: It puts it into perspective plus it forces you to think what you would do differently in the run up to the next meeting to avoid the heartbreak again.
Remember, speak to yourself how you would speak to others.
I’m going to say that again…. speak to yourself how you would speak to others.
This can really make a difference.
Point 2: Sometimes, if all else fails and you have to excuse yourself from the situation, just do it. In some cases, leaving the room to take a few deeps breaths, cool down and take a drink of water can be all that you need to re-focus on the task at hand. It sends a message to your boss that you care deeply about the work, and that you aren’t just there filling time or making a bit of pin money for the family. In the moments or even hours you are away from the situation, remind yourself, this situation is unlikely to literally kill you, and is likely to be a story you tell others about and even roll your eyes over in years to come. As they say; ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’
Think about it, how many times have you felt that dreaded lump at the back of your throat, where all you want to do is to drop everything and give up?
3. OK so my secret about the power of a single sentence.
A ‘hedge’ can be a great tool for reducing backlash or judgement against you.
As I talk about in Love Your C-Word, research shows 'hedges', not the kind you grow in your garden, but the type that can soften a statement, can reduce the chances of reprisals when you do show emotions like anger.
Although feelings like anger can be overwhelming at the time, these meetings or interactions are fleeting and are an opportunity for you to prove that you are stronger than you seem.
Let me explain.
While giving a disagreeable opinion, researchers encouraged people to describe the intention of their feedback. Participants were merely asked to say:
“I see this as a matter of honesty and integrity, so it’s important for me to be clear about where I stand”.
Remarkably, this single hedge alone reduced the backlash against the speaker, particularly for women, by 20%.
This single statement can benefit everyone. So next time you share an unpopular opinion, explain your intent before you give your point of view. You’re likely to get less backlash, which in turn helps to keep all the emotions in check.
This shows your boss that you care deeply about the issues at hand, and that you can handle anything that’s thrown at you.
So, now you know how to control emotions at work. What now?
If you’re watching this, your career is obviously important to you. So are you currently thinking about that next promotion? Well you should be. Don’t wait until you’ve outgrown your current role.. Start thinking about what moves you can make NOW.
That’s why I’m offering you a copy of my completely FREE guide: How to get a promotion in 8 steps.
It is full of all my best advice - and has helped many clients move on to bigger and better things. Just click the link below and fill out your details.
If this video helped you - then like this video and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and follow me on all of my social media.
Please visit my playlist on ‘Common Workplace Challenges’ - I promise it’s packed with tips on how to navigate all the other little challenges we face at work.
I’m sending you Happy New Year wishes from Bryron Bay in Australia, where I just saw one of my nerdy teenage crushes - John Farnham at The Falls concert! Whoever your teenage crush, or however you’ve been spending your holiday, I hope that you’ve been enjoying yourself over the festive season - whatever that has looked like to you!
Now, I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions - but I wondered if you’ve started thinking about what you’d like to achieve in 2020? If you’d like a new job, you are not alone. January and February are the most common times of year for people to start looking for new jobs, and it’s a hot time for people to post those roles they didn’t quite get to earlier before the holidays - so it’s the best time to be looking.
For that reason, I wanted to share with you a very special playlist on my YouTube channel. It’s one that has been developed based on queries that I often receive from Coaching clients of mine.
Switching Careers: Women in Male-Dominated Fields
If you’re planning to switch career in 2020 this playlist is a must-watch. I’ve poured in all the advice that I’ve been giving to Coaching clients over the last 15 years, and I promise it will help take away some of the stresses of switching careers, as so many of my clients have done.
As always, please let me know what you think. I’d love to hear if you have any other suggestions for the playlist - or things that worked well for you when you were switching careers.
Enjoy, and see you when I get back from my birthplace in Oz in 2020.
I've been talking A LOT recently about Coaching and Mentoring over on my YouTube channel. I've had some great feedback on my recent videos about these topics, but I've had a few questions from clients recently about 'what's the difference between coaching and mentoring?' So here it is.
Not sure of the difference between mentorship and coaching? But do you suspect you’d get further if you understood the difference - and how each could fast track your career?
Today, we’re talking about the difference between coaching and mentoring.
What is Coaching?
For me, coaching is all about being an outsider who helps people get strategic about their careers.
It’s about asking the right questions, helping clients find their own answers and get clearer on what they want and then helping them brainstorm about what it will take to reach those goals. Simply put, I just want to make sure my clients get there faster and with fewer mistakes. There are more formal definitions of coaching, and if you google ‘coaching definition’ you’ll be welcome to half a million pages. But in the 2500 hours of coaching I’ve done mostly with women who work in male dominated fields - that’s the definition that works best for my clients. It’s also about challenge - as I can help you win the race, but we need to make sure it’s a race worth winning and even competing in.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is about a person who has a specific skill helping grow someone else’s skills in that area.
Ideally, you’d have both a coach and a mentor - and with the coaching clients I work with - we ensure you get a range of mentors in the very skills you need to build. So for example, we may work on developing your relationships with people who seem to be great at presentations, or have a technical skill you’d to develop or simply have led teams with a style you’d like to emulate. In the programmes run for companies to get more women into senior leadership, we are very careful in the way we pair mentors and mentees as you need to be focused on what the mentee wants to learn - but also how to ensure it also benefits the mentor. That’s the only way the relationship will grow long after the programme is officially finished. But the good news? You don’t need a formal mentoring programme to approach people yourself - more tips of which you can get on our download.
As you can see coaching vs. mentoring roles ARE different, but BOTH vital for getting you the career you want.
I’ve created 5 Mentoring Tips for Beginners that is the best way to introduce mentoring into your day-to-day working life I’ve given this advice to 100s of clients, and it’s the easiest way to start.
I’ve got a whole playlist dedicated to the Benefits of Coaching and Mentoring on my YouTube channel, please have a browse and let me know what you think.
Suzanne Doyle-Morris, Author, Speaker & Gender Balance Expert for 25+ years.
Hear what I told BBC Radio about what to do about the worsening gender pay gap data