Building Self Confidence Blog
21Sep/130

60 Seconds to Confidence #34 Confidently Dealing with Feedback

Success Tips for ManagersHave you ever been involved in an enjoyable and successful social or work event only to discover later that your flies were undone or you had a green sliver of spinach on your front tooth or that you had committed some other faux pas? Don’t you wish someone had discreetly mentioned it to you so that you could have done something about it? Aaaagh!

But the consequence of the lack of confidence to speak up in that situation is minor compared to the havoc that can be created in work and personal relationships when people refrain from giving constructive feedback to the person who needs to hear it. I’ve seen marriages destroyed and work teams paralysed because of it.

I remember working with an assistant manager whose attempts to motivate the team triggered the team members into feeling like they were back at school. The team members muttered about him behind his back and eventually complained to his manager. They lacked the confidence to deal with the assistant manager directly. The manager agreed to champion their cause and represent their grievances to the assistant manager.

The manager would not tell the assistant manager which team members had given him the feedback.

The assistant manager felt annoyed that only one side of the story had been explored. So his attention turned to how unfairly he had been treated rather than to the original issue.

That’s understandable – I’d certainly prefer people to bring issues to me…constructively…rather than complain about me behind my back to others. I’d want people to be open to hearing why I did what I did or thought what I thought, just to find out if there’s another perspective. Wouldn’t you?

Of course, my part of the bargain would be to receive feedback contructively too and make it easy for people to talk to me.

You can understand the team members taking the back door route, can’t you? They felt they didn’t have the positional power to be honest. They feared reprisals. But their actions fostered a culture of back-biting which could come back to bite them.

You can understand the manager, too. It’s easy to get sucked into riding to the rescue when you hear only one side of the story, especially if the story confirms your own prejudices.

But…the manager missed the fantastic opportunity to get everyone together to create a situation where:

  • everyone could explore, and take responsibility for, their part in creating the situation in the first place and feel empowered to remedy it confidently and skilfully in future
  • a win-win outcome could be mediated
  • lessons about creating effective, mature and adult work relationships could have been learned

So here are 3 tips to try:

  • Receive feedback with curiosity
  • Give feedback with curiosity
  • When someone moans about someone else, guide them to a more confident and skilled strategy for resolving those issues

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWhat extra confident and skilful steps could you take in your work and personal life to turn complaints into :)?

Warm wishes

Madeleine

 

1-2-1 Complimentary Coaching Discovery Session

If you could change one thing in your personal, career or business life, what would it be? I have 1 complimentary space for  a 1-2-1 'Confident Life' Discovery Session this month. During that session, we’ll discuss where you are in your business, career or personal life. We’ll uncover hidden barriers to your success. We’ll get clear on how you’d like your life to be. Then I’ll show you how you can bridge that gap. You’ll go away feeling positive, excited and certain about your next steps.

If you would like to apply for a session, just email me:madeleine@growu.co.uk

Useful Links

·       Free Confidence ecourse

·       Free success tips for professionals, managers and owner managers

·       Personal, career and business coaching and training courses for professionals, managers and business owners

 

7Sep/130

60 Seconds to Confidence Tip #32 Testing Your Communication Style

Success Tips for Managers

 

Did you know that surveys show most people think they are good at communicating…and that most other people are not?

The maths doesn’t add up, does it? So there must be many delusional communicators in the world. 🙂

How can you tell if you’re one of them…or not?

There’s a useful and challenging assumption master communicators live by: ‘The meaning of the communication is the response you get.’ In other words, it’s no good saying, ‘You didn’t listen…’ or ‘What I said was…’ when someone seems to have misunderstood you. Their response is a reflection of what you actually communicated to them. (Unless they really are trying to wind you up.)

So, one clue to whether you need to be more flexible in your communication style is the number of times a week you find yourself aghast, perhaps even pulling your hair out, because you thought you’d explained clearly to your partner, colleague or client but they misunderstood what intended to communicate. How many times is that for you?

Another clue is: do you get the outcomes you want from your family conversations, team meetings, sales meetings and presentations?

And finally the acid test… if you asked your family members, friends, colleagues, clients and suppliers about how well you communicate, what would they say?

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorSo how are you doing as a communicator?

What do you need to change to get better results in your personal, career and business life?

Warm wishes
Madeleine

 

1-2-1 Complimentary Coaching Discovery Session

If you could change one thing in your personal, career or business life, what would it be? I have 1 complimentary space for 1-2-1 Discovery Session this month. During that session, we’ll discuss where you are in your business, career or personal life. We’ll uncover hidden barriers to your success. We’ll get clear on how you’d like your life to be. Then I’ll show you how you can bridge that gap. You’ll go away feeling positive, excited and certain about your next steps.

If you would like to apply for a session, just email me:madeleine@growu.co.ukor click on this link: http://www.buildingselfconfidence.co.uk/contact/

Madeleine Morgan

Confidence and Life Coach

Cambridge CB4 1LN, UK

 

31Aug/13Off

60 Seconds to Confidence Tip #31How Do You Decide When to Make a Change?

Success Tips for ManagersHave you ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve asked yourself a variation on, ‘How do I know when to stop, leave, quit, walk out, give up or make a change?’

Whether it’s a question you’re asking yourself about your relationships, your job, or your business, the answer isn’t always obvious, is it? How do you make a confident choice?

A client of mine asked me the question this week as he felt he was beating his head against a brick wall in relation to an issue with an ‘irritating’ colleague. Here are some of the thoughts we came up with.

Someone once said, ‘All struggle is unskilled behaviour’. That might be a gross generalisation but it’s worth asking yourself, ‘What more do I need to know, or know how to do, to help me be more successful in this situation?’

My client thought about this question and then said, ‘I need to learn how to take a step back from my frustration and see things from my colleague’s point of view. That might give me some ideas for new things to try.’

His answer brought up another point. He realised that his doubts about whether to give up on a situation often rear their ugly head when he knows he has muddied the water by acting clumsily, aggressively or immaturely. Once he thought and behaved more maturely and assertively, the brick wall came tumbling down and the decision about whether to keep trying became clear.

My client realised that, if he had given up too early, he might have deprived himself of the opportunity to become even more resourceful and the opportunities those resources might lead to.

The maths of the costs and benefits of trying versus giving up changed.

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWhat new learning could feed your confidence, your determination and your success this week?

Warm wishes
Madeleine

1-2-1 Complimentary Coaching Discovery Session

If you could change one thing in your personal, career or business life, what would it be? I have 1 complimentary space for 1-2-1 'Confident Life' Discovery Session this month. During that session, we’ll discuss where you are in your business, career or personal life. We’ll uncover hidden barriers to your success. We’ll get clear on how you’d like your life to be. Then I’ll show you how you can bridge that gap. You’ll go away feeling positive, excited and certain about your next steps.

If you would like to apply for a session, just email me:madeleine@growu.co.ukor click on this link: http://www.buildingselfconfidence.co.uk/contact/

Madeleine Morgan

Confidence and Life Coach

Cambridge CB4 1LN, UK

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17Aug/13Off

60 Seconds to Confidence Tip #29

Success Tips for Managers

Two recent buying experiences got me thinking about what we can learn from successful selling that would benefit us in our personal, career and business lives.

A month ago I finally had to admit that my printer was indeed dead. It had come to the end of its natural life and I could not coax it to print another piece of paper. Reluctantly, I gritted my teeth and set about exploring the bewildering range of options for replacing it.

Armed with my list of criteria, I approached the owner of a business machines company who is in my network of trusted suppliers.

He listened patiently to what I said I wanted but instead of just pointing me in the direction of a printer, he showed me a clever formula he had created. To make the formula work I had to think about what I actually needed based on the kind of printing I do now and might want to do in future. With that information he created a perfect match between what I actually needed and the machines on the market. At the same time, he saved me money.

I am so happy with the printer I ended up with. More than ever, I really trust the supplier and feel confident to recommend him to people. It’s a win-win outcome.

A friend of mine had a different experience. She booked a holiday recently. The travel agent helped her choose a lovely hotel in a resort that looked very attractive. She was very happy with the service. It had saved her hours of trawling the internet and booking on line.

It was only after she had booked and paid for the holiday that she realised she needed travel insurance and a place in the airport car park. On request, the travel agent sorted those things out for her but the experience dented her confidence in him. The travel agent had given her what she said she wanted, but surely if the travel agent was really looking out for her interests he would have mentioned what she might have needed and enquired whether she had her insurance sorted out, wouldn’t he? Then she wondered what else she might have forgotten. She didn't feel confident that something else wouldn't crop up that would be too late to fix.

I wonder if she’ll use that service again?

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWhere in your personal, career and business life could you be watching someone’s back more thoroughly? Which of your family members, colleagues, bosses, clients, suppliers, employees and friends would benefit from your wisdom and experience?  What impact would your care have on your relationships and your success? What support network are you building so that you can be confident you've got people who are watching your back?

Warm wishes
Madeleine

1-2-1 Complimentary Coaching Discovery Session

If you could change one thing in your personal, career or business life, what would it be? I have 1 complimentary space for 1-2-1 ‘Confident Life’ Discovery Session this month. During that session, we’ll discuss where you are in your business, career or personal life. We’ll uncover hidden barriers to your success. We’ll get clear on how you’d like your life to be. Then I’ll show you how you can bridge that gap. You’ll go away feeling positive, excited and certain about your next steps.

If you would like to apply for a session, just email me:madeleine@growu.co.ukor click on this link: http://www.buildingselfconfidence.co.uk/contact/

Madeleine Morgan

Confidence and Life Coach

Cambridge CB4 1LN, UK

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7Mar/12Off

How to Forgive, So That You Can Be Free

Holding onto a grudge can be very human but also very life destroying. If you feel someone has wronged you it's important to forgive them so that you can be free! When you can forgive people you can feel confident in your relationships and happier in yourself.

I like this forgiveness story:

STONE

TWO FRIENDS WERE WALKING

THROUGH THE DESERT .

DURING SOME POINT OF THE

JOURNEY, THEY HAD AN

ARGUMENT; AND ONE FRIEND

SLAPPED THE OTHER ONE

IN THE FACE

THE ONE WHO GOT SLAPPED

WAS HURT, BUT WITHOUT

SAYING ANYTHING,

WROTE IN THE SAND ,

TODAY MY BEST FRIEND

SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE .

THEY KEPT ON WALKING,

UNTIL THEY FOUND AN OASIS,

WHERE THEY DECIDED

TO TAKE A BATH.

THE ONE WHO HAD BEEN

SLAPPED GOT STUCK IN THE

MIRE AND STARTED DROWNING,

BUT THE FRIEND SAVED HIM.

AFTER HE RECOVERED FROM

THE NEAR DROWNING,

HE WROTE

ON A STONE:

'TODAY MY BEST FRIEND

SAVED MY LIFE'

THE FRIEND WHO HAD SLAPPED

AND SAVED HIS BEST FRIEND

ASKED HIM, 'AFTER I HURT YOU,

YOU WROTE IN THE SAND AND NOW,

YOU WRITE ON A STONE, WHY?'

THE FRIEND REPLIED

'WHEN SOMEONE HURTS US

WE SHOULD WRITE IT DOWN

IN SAND, WHERE WINDS OF

FORGIVENESS CAN ERASE IT AWAY.

BUT, WHEN SOMEONE DOES SOMETHING GOOD FOR US,

WE MUST ENGRAVE IT IN STONE

WHERE NO WIND

CAN EVER ERASE IT'

LEARN TO WRITE

YOUR HURTS IN

THE SAND AND TO

CARVE YOUR

BENEFITS IN STONE.

THEY SAY IT TAKES A

MINUTE TO FIND A SPECIAL

PERSON,

AN HOUR TO

APPRECIATE THEM,

A DAY

TO LOVE THEM,

BUT THEN ,

AN ENTIRE LIFE

TO FORGET THEM.

 SHOW THIS TO

THE PEOPLE YOU'LL NEVER

FORGET.

Maybe you feel you've been hurt too badly to be able to forgive someone or logically you know you should forgive them but your heart won't let them off the hook. Ask yourself, what would it take for me to forgive them?

If you can't come up with any answers, consider getting coaching on the issue so that you can move forward freely and enjoy your life to the full.

Madeleine Morgan The Confidence Coach

The Confidence Life Coach

Warm wishes

Madeleine

Madeleine Morgan

mm@buildingselfconfidence.co..uk

www.buildingselfconfidence.co.uk

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5Jan/12Off

How to be Assertive in Relationships

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Madeleine Morgan The Confidence Coach

The Confidence Coach

As a result of being one of the Chat Room guests on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire recently, it got me thinking...

We discussed 2 topics I thought were related. One was about how we felt about lending money to friends and family – could we live by the motto, ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be’? The other was - what was our worst experience of having someone to stay in our home?

So how are those related, I hear you ask?

Well, what I realised was that those situations tend to be dilemmas for us if we’re not sure how, confidently, to set wise boundaries with people. Or if we are uncomfortable about dealing with people’s upset, or even our own guilt, when we do set boundaries. In fact that’s at the heart of many relationships we find difficult.

A common question my clients ask is, ‘How can I tell/refuse/ask……without upsetting them?’

The answers lie on lots of different levels. But here are a few ideas:

Remember that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. People become upset for lots of reasons – many of them you couldn’t be expected to guess. Instead of avoiding a conversation for fear of upsetting someone, get skilled at communicating effectively with that kind of person/situation and dealing with any upset that comes up.

For instance, if someone is upset about something you’ve asked them for or refused to give them, avoid becoming defensive. Try to have an open discussion about the real issues rather than about the emotions and the way they were communicated.

After all, if you avoid asking someone for something or to do something for fear of upsetting them, you never give them an opportunity to say, ‘Yes!’

Remember that you have a right to ask and they have a right to refuse. At the same time they have a right to ask you and you have a right to refuse!

Wouldn’t life be easier if we could be direct and assert our right to just ask or to just refuse?

For one of my coaching clients that belief system I’ve just described about asking and refusing just didn’t fit.

She came from a culture where if a member of the family asked for financial support she would give it, few questions asked. For instance, she was supporting a nephew to go to a very expensive college in the America and a cousin who kept wasting money and then finding himself on the breadline.

At the same time she had financial difficulties of her own because her business clients were late paying for her services.

Her belief that she should help her family was so strong that she felt guilty about refusing her family even though she had made her own luck in life and she was feeling very stressed by the financial state of her business.

The situation could only get worse because she was training her family to treat her like a bank.

One perspective that helped her was to realise that she could be more helpful to her family by asking curious and open questions that helped them realise how they could help themselves more. I call it ‘teaching them to fish so that they can feed themselves for a lifetime’ rather than ‘giving them fish which might feed them for only a day’.

The ‘win’ for her family members was that they enjoyed feeling more successful and the ‘win’ for her was she felt good about helping them find out how to be resourceful. She could also feel loved for herself rather than for her money.

Where in your life could you be creating a win-win by ‘teaching someone to fish’?

When you’re having family and friends to stay, think about how you can create a win-win situation.

I like to feel relaxed when people come to stay. One way I can be relaxed is by not having to second guess everyone’s needs. So for instance, I tell them that if they feel like having a hot drink, feel free to make one – they don’t have to wait for me to ask (Of course I do ask sometimes too). Or if they wake up before me and feel hungry – feel free to go and make some toast or get some cereal. My guests feel relaxed too because they don’t have to follow my routine all the time. Of course, we also plan to eat meals together as well.

How can you make sure that visits from your family and friends are win-win ones?

Please let me know how you get on or if you have any questions.

With 2012 here, I thought I’d give you a free tool to help you get clear about where you are in your life, where you’d like to be and how to get there. Just email me and I’ll send it to you.

29Apr/11Off

Relationship Confidence – 7 Secrets to a Confident Romance

Confidence in Relationships – 7 Secrets to Confident Romance

The royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has got me thinking about what makes a confident and fulfiling relationship.

Whether you’re totally indifferent to the royal wedding or a raving fan, it seems obvious that Kate and William are, in many ways, living the romantic dream. They’re wealthy, good looking, confident in each other’s love and make a great team.

It may be tempting to think that their kind of relationship is only for the privileged few. And it’s true that few people will have royal weddings but it’s also true that living the dream romance is more possible than most people think or experience in real life.

My own experiences of relationship pain, disaster and happiness gave me a passion to share with others what I’ve learned through experience and training about how how to create fun, passionate and happy relationships even when the relationship involves people with totally different personalities.

I’ve found out that many people are experiencing more pain than they need to just because there are some secrets, tools and strategies to creating a happy relationship they need to know – and are rarely taught.

Here are some of those secrets.

7 secrets to a confident and passionate relationship:

1.    Confidence in Relationship Secret One - Choose someone who shares many of your hopes, values and dreams about life and relationship – it’s hard work in a relationship if you and your partner have very different ideas about what you want out of life. You’ll get caught up in resisting each other’s attempt to try and change each other. Know what you want and find out what they want, early on.

Nowadays people have more opportunity to find out if they are compatible before they get married than ever before. Yet 50% of first marriages and 75% of second marriages end in divorce. How can that be?

My experience of coaching over 900 clients is that they either ignore the instinct they have that this person is, at best, only 80% right for them. Or, a lack of skills and knowledge, some of which are mentioned in the tips below, kills off the chemistry.

2.    Confidence in Relationship Secret Two - Be quick to praise the things you love and appreciate about them.

We’re brought up to think that people only improve and change if we criticise and point out when they make mistakes.

Yet, think about when you were a baby just taking your first wobbly steps.

Imagine if we’d been surrounded by people who had told us we were doing it all wrong, that we were underachieving and would probably never walk based on the evidence of our first struggles. I wonder how many people would still be crawling into middle age! Or be going into therapy because of a walking phobia.

I bet for most of you, the people around you praised everything about what you tried to do to walk – even when you lost your balance and sat down with a bump on your backside – for the 100th time. Maybe that’s why the majority of the people on the planet can walk!

Choose someone who is generous with their appreciation of you too. Be each other’s fan club!

3.    Confidence in Relationship Secret Three – Talk about the things that bother you about your partner and the relationship.

You might think this tip is contradictory after what I said in tip 2.

Yes, if your partner has done or said something you don’t like, talk about it!

Avoid suffering in silent resentment because it kills off love and passion in a relationship. Avoid being intimidating, critical and interrogating while at the same time avoid being a victim, placating or distant. There are secrets to having those difficult conversations - the next 2 tips will help.

4. Confidence in Relationship Secret Four - When your partner wants different things from you, or has a different opinion, be willing to talk calmly about your differences. We are usually brought up to debate and that can be fun. But if you hold your ground too fiercely or reluctantly give in, you miss opportunities to understand each other better.

There’s a middle way. Sometimes it’s more loving, and exciting, to find out more about why they think the way they do before you bring your contradictory ideas. Avoid dismissing their ideas and wants too quickly – then they’ll be more willing to listen to you too. Have a win-win conversation.

5.    Confidence in Relationship Secret Five - When difficulties come up think about your part in creating the situation.

For instance, if your partner is treating you badly, is there some way in which you’ve ‘trained’ them to do that either by ignoring their needs and wants or by trying to please them too much?

If you’re not attracting the right people into your life, what do you need to learn and change that will help you attract the romantic partner of your dreams?

The great thing about doing this is that your part is the only bit you’re in control of, the bit you can change and have power over. When you realise what you can do to change a situation, that’s very empowering.

We’re emotionally wired to go into flght/flight reactions in the face of relationships difficulties so I know this tip, while simple, is difficult to follow. My clients find that when you talk with an experienced relationship coach who can help you get the perspective, awareness and skills you need, in a supportive and objective way, it helps to speed up the journey to relationship success.

The next tip will also help.

6.    Confidence in Relationship Secret SixHeal the past. Most of us have had difficult relationship experiences - parents who have shown us very conditional love or ‘unloving’ behaviour, painful divorces and relationship breakups.  We carry hurts from past relationships, sometimes without even realising it. This is baggage from past relationships can be too great a burden for your future ones.

Many clients I work with on their relationships have been through difficult childhood experiences, divorces and relationship break ups. They find they are slow to have confidence and trust in new relationships, even when they meet a really great partner, and find themselves sabotaging the relationship, without meaning, to in all kinds of unconscious and frustrating ways – big and small.

Once they’ve come to the point where they don’t want to be a hostage to the past, I’ve helped them clear the past, their confidence in relationship has increased and it’s easier to have the fun, passionate and loving relationship you really want.

7. Confidence in Relationship Secret Seven – Make Sure You Have Healthy Self-Esteem and Confidence.

My clients discover that when their confidence increases they attract other people with healthy self-esteem and confidence – like attracts like. Confident people make better relationship choices. Confident people are less likely to feel jealous and insecure in relationships. They don’t need to be right all the time and they don’t put up with poor treatment. They hold themselves and their partner to a higher standard.

All this may not sound very sexy but actually, long-term, physical passion and chemistry last longer when you follow these 7 secrets to confident relationships.  🙂

I wish you all the love, fun and passion in your relationships that you can handle.

Warm wishes

Madeleine

PS: I like to reward people who take action to create more happiness in their lives. So, I’m offering you a free Discovery Session where we can explore where you are now in your life and relationships, where you’d like to be and how you can get there.

Contact Madeleine or phone 01223 964516 to book your session.

"Madeleine is an exceptional coach. Over the years I've received coaching from some of the biggest names in NLP, business and personal development. In my estimation she's up there with the big boys.

Very quickly she expanded my thinking way beyond the limits I had set for myself and not only gave me practical step-by-step advice that moved me forward in my career, my business, my personal relationships and my personal development. She also revealed to me the things I was doing in my head that were preventing me from enjoying the success I'd already achieved.

In a very short time, and as a direct result of Madeleine's coaching:

- My confidence soared

- I secured an interview for the job of my dreams

- I got really clear on a part-time business I wanted to build

On top of all this, the process, wisdom and expertise she brought to the coaching allowed me to make changes in myself that deepened my relationship with my girlfriend, improved my interpersonal skills with colleagues at work and most important of all, given me an ongoing realisation that this whole journey is exciting and enjoyable. Ben Green,  Manager

Madeleine Morgan The Confidence Coach

The Confidence Coach

The Coaching Room, 44 Chesterfield Road, Cambridge, CB4 1LN

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