Feeling low in confidence happens to us all. So I’m sharing one of my best tips that will get you excelling in all those meetings with senior people you have to attend as your career grows.
As someone who has done over 2500 hours of coaching, I’ve used this very simple technique with my clients, and it’s helped them see not just what they’re better at than perhaps they give themselves credit for, but where they could turn up the volume on how skilled they are, to others. It worked for a banking client, who was increasingly being invited to a number of senior meetings that intimidated her, and she credited MY TIP as the thing that helped her get the promotion.
So here it is. The SIMPLEST way to get confident again….
Focus on your COMPETENCE!
Stay with me as I know that may sound like a cop-out, but it’s where you need to focus because competence is EVIDENCE-BASED, which completely turns on data driven nerds like me!
So crack open that notebook or if you are like some of my ultra-organised clients, set up a new spreadsheet and list out all your upcoming meetings. This works particularly well for those who like to see the evidence as a reminder of how they are improving.
Make one column
‘How you Felt Before the Meeting’, then the second column 'How you Felt After’.
This is a great tool for self-reflection and gets you thinking about WHAT WENT WELL but what you’d DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME.
Years ago, when I first presented to a Board of a Law Firm, I resisted the naive urge to tell them ‘I’ve never done this before!’ Because I’d prepared so well, no one even noticed, I got compliments and they even adopted my recommendations about improving gender balance at Partnership level.
If you can record your self-reflective observations, it diminishes how much of a monster these meetings can feel. So for example, after my client started comparing these two columns after about a month of meetings, she saw her performance was ALWAYS better than she’d expected - she made no big mistakes, and even got some compliments.
It also made her better prepared for tweaks she did want to make (THAT WAS HER WORKING ON HER COMPETENCE) - all of which fed her confidence.
I hope this helped. To keep up to date with the activity around my third book The Con Job, follow #morecompetence on Twitter and Instagram.
Please share this blog with your friends and colleagues too - you won’t be the only one feeling this way.
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