Boost Your Confidence
Q: There are some people who manage to knock my confidence and I start to lose gravitas in the meeting. The worst are people who ask questions aggressively on subjects I’m not sure about. How do I maintain my confidence and gravitas in this type of situation?
- Be prepared. Develop answers for the questions you dread the most. And be prepared to say you don’t know and will find the information for them. No one knows everything. Also think of framing the answer in terms of what makes sense or is valuable to the questioner, not just to you.
- Manage your ‘tell’. Just like in poker this is the behaviour that gives away that you are under pressure. For example it could be smiling too much or fidgeting. If you know what your ‘tell’ is you can manage it, which boosts your confidence.
- Flip it. In your mind, swap the word aggressive for vigorous. And find the upside of these questions. See it as a sign that they are very interested. Or that you are offering them a platform to look clever. Or that their ‘bad’ behaviour will draw others to your cause. What else can you think of?
If you would like to be coached on HOW to boost your confidence, please do get in touch. We offer group and one to one programmes tailored for your own real situations.
Sometimes, it is realistic to think that the big meeting or conversation is going to be a bit of a ‘mare’ and it would be naive not to prepare. However, it always helps to go in with an open mind and a dose of optimism, whatever your past experience.
Often our fearful thinking is just plain wrong or way out of proportion. We’re making all sorts of assumptions without any evidence at all. To break the cycle and get into a positive, useful place, ask yourself these 5 ‘self coaching’ questions:
- What evidence do I have for this belief?
- What else could be happening?
- How could I see the situation differently? Are there opportunities or an upside?
- If that is the case, on a scale of 1-10 how worried should I be? But on a scale of 1-10 how am I currently reacting? (Is your reaction out of proportion?)
- What’s the very worst that can happen? How likely is that? What is more likely?
Have a go and see what happens.
You can build the confidence and the skills to make your communications more effective and certainly more enjoyable. Have a look at our courses to see how we coach teams to do this or get in touch to book a course today.
Commander Chris Hadfield is the master at taking the long view and seeing the opportunities in tough situations. (If you need a reminder of who Chris Hadfield is, watch his cover of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’, recorded on board the International Space Station on YouTube).
When he was overlooked for going into space not just once but four times he says:
“This is when attitude really started to matter. I have a clear memory of giving myself a pep talk about then that started with, ‘Don’t be an idiot’. I reminded myself that I wasn’t sitting around doing nothing. I was learning so much every day that I could almost hear my neurons firing.”
He is a master of the ‘flip it’ technique. He does feel disappointment and does get affected but somehow finds a genuine opportunity or upside quickly. This allows him to perform better and enjoy the process.
His book is littered with examples of his mind-set in action. He talks about how he responded when things went wrong on space walks. And he had the same troubles as many people have with a boss – he worked with a difficult senior astronaut who would dress him down in front of mission control.
Here’s Our Pithy Quote from the Book #3
“I learned a lot from him ….I realised, wow, he’s really effective and a top operator of a complex vehicle. He had some great skills and some fundamental problems… It helped me stop reacting emotionally to his abuse and start trying to figure out how to make the best of the situation. The key was to understand that the problems were his, not mine and they all seemed to stem from his insecurity”.
‘Flip it’ is an essential foundation you can acquire on our Positive Leadership. Peak Performance course and apply to your own real life situations.
Chris’ style of personal leadership and his leadership of others is an excellent example of the behaviours and positive practices we’re coaching on our Positive Leadership. Peak Performance Programmes. Hard evidence shows that using positive leadership practices to lead yourself and others delivers higher sales, more internal engagement and better productivity. If you would be interested in how it can help you meet your goals, please do get in touch.
Buy Chris Hadfield’s book ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’ on Amazon.