Building Self Confidence Blog
7Oct/150

How to Give Confident Feedback: Confidence Tip 135

Madeleine Morgan Life, Career and Business Coaching, Cambridge UKTop Tips About Giving Feedback: What We Can Learn from Strictly Come Dancing

Yes, one of my guilty pleasures is watching Strictly Come Dancing. I just love the way the celebs have the courage to put themselves back in the place of being amateurs. They accept the adventure of overcoming their nerves, stepping out of their comfort zone and surprising themselves with what they can achieve.

And yes, there are probably more worthy activities they could devote their energies to but anyway…it wasn’t so much the celebs this week that caught my attention but the judges and their feedback styles.

It got me thinking. Most days we’re invited, or compelled, to give our feedback to someone about something, such as:

  • A colleague’s presentation
  • A team member’s contribution at work
  • A friend’s DIY efforts
  • A partner’s outfit for the evening
  • Or…?

They say that feedback is the breakfast of champions so it’s important to get it right. Human beings are prone to see and express what’s wrong with something rather than what’s right and we can unwittingly destroy people’s confidence and demotivate them with clumsy feedback.

Watching the judges on Strictly Come Dancing giving their feedback triggered me to ponder what we can learn from their very different styles. I was particularly interested in why the audience accepted the critical feedback of some judges and not others.

Craig Revel Horwood is the hardest to impress. He’s like a Victorian parent with his stern expressions and endless list of the mistakes he sees. He rarely gives credit for effort and judges the contestants as if they are professionals, from the beginning. Even when he praises someone, his marks are often miserly.

Yes, he’s the pantomime villain, there to heighten the drama and create a sense of the contestants being thrown into the lion’s den. He’s also the judge whose feedback the contestants are most afraid of and the one they most want to please. But… is his feedback style effective in helping the contestants improve or is it, to quote one of his favourite phrases, ‘a disaster, darling’?

The audience disagrees with his negative feedback most of the time and their boos express their feelings that he is unnecessarily harsh. The professionals training the celebs often express the same feeling as they see the fragile confidence of some of their mentees wither away. They know they’ll have to spend a lot of time in the coming week building their mentees’ confidence up again rather than having more time to focus on technique. The very competitive contestants who have a lot of self-belief rise to the challenge. The ones who still haven’t processed their ‘parent issues’ – the people still trying to please the unpleasable – are often reduced to tears, have more of a struggle than they need to and don’t fulfil their potential.

So, not a great all round feedback style to model in ‘real’ life.

Then there’s Bruno Tonioli. When someone dances badly he often feeds back through an exaggerated, comical and sometimes spiteful caricature of their style. By doing so, he runs the risk of unwittingly installing in their brains a very vivid picture of what they shouldn’t do that makes it harder for them to overcome their mistakes. When they do well, his feedback is a pantomime of dramatically overblown words and gestures that is more about getting a laugh from the audience than giving useful feedback. It’s all about him, not the contestant’s development.

Len Goodman, the head judge, is more conventional and moderate in his feedback and the marks that he gives. He does give credit for effort and makes allowances, in the early episodes, for the fact that the contestants are amateurs. He gradually expects more of the contestants in the later episodes of the competition. By gradually raising the bar he gives the contestants achievable goals.

Lastly there’s Darcy Bussell. Everyone accepts her feedback even when she is being critical. How does she achieve that?

  • She generously rewards effort and makes allowances for the fact that the contestants are amateurs.
  • She is more open to artistic creativity and experimentation than Len and so it’s more fun for the professionals and they have freedom to adapt routines to the personalities of their mentees.
  • She’s is specific about what she likes about a performance. That makes her feedback credible even to the most doubting of contestants. So she helps the contestants build their confidence and develop their potential.
  • Her feedback is balanced and helpful.
  • She is the best of the judges at explaining how to correct a fault and she usually chooses just one technique for the contestant to focus on so that they don’t get overwhelmed. When she talks about the fault she expresses herself more like a coach than a critic. So she supports the work of the professional trainers.
  • She has a sense of humour that is more directed at herself than at the contestants.

So, there are many pointers in Darcy’s style we can model in our personal, career and business lives that will help us get the best out of our team members, our family members, our colleagues etc.

And…when you’re seeking feedback from others…make sure you choose the skilled people who know how to help you develop your potential.

What feedback techniques have you found get the best out of others?

What’s your next step to becoming more successful in your personal, business and career?

 Discover some more choices below.

‘Madeleine Morgan Life, Career and Business Coaching, Cambridge UKWarm wishes, Madeleine

P.S. Check out the Special Offers, Quote of the Week, ‘Useful Links’ to life changing free ‘stuff’ below.

Special Offers and Dates for Your Diary

Free Confidential Coaching Discovery Session

Is creating a more rewarding personal, career or business life a must for you in 2015?

Do you have some difficult challenges to face or decisions to make?

If your answer is yes check out these this free 1-2-1 coaching opportunity.

I have 3 Free Coaching Discovery to give away this month

During that 60 minute session, we’ll:

  • discuss what’s important to you, where you are with your life, career or business and any challenges you face
  • uncover hidden barriers to your success.
  • get clear about the life, career or business you’d like to enjoy

Then I’ll show you how you can bridge that gap. You’ll go away feeling positive, excited and confident about making this year your best year yet.

We can meet at my coaching room in Cambridge (CB4 1LN) or over Skype or telephone.

If you would like to apply for a session, just email me and tell me what days/times would suit you: madeleine@growu.co.uk

Quotes of the Week about Feedback

  • “We all need people who will give us feedback. That's how we improve.” Bill Gates
  • “I think it's very important to have a feedback loop, where you're constantly thinking about what you've done and how you could be doing it better.“ Elon Musk
  • “You make decisions, take actions, affect the world, receive feedback from the world, incorporate it into yourself, then the updated 'you' makes more decisions, and so forth, 'round and 'round.” Douglas Hofstadter
  • “There is a huge value in learning with instant feedback.” Anant Agarwal
  • "Leaders cannot work in a vacuum. They may take on larger, seemingly more important roles in an organization, but this does not exclude them from asking for and using feedback. In fact, a leader arguably needs feedback more so than anyone else. It's what helps a leader respond appropriately to events in pursuit of successful outcomes.” Jack Canfield
  •  “In business, the market gives you feedback in real time. Your sales figures tell you what's working, what isn't, and how you need to change. If you don't listen to the feedback, you go belly up.” Jeff Raikes
  • “Don't solicit feedback on your product, idea or your business just for validation purposes. You want to tell the people who can help move your idea forward, but if you're just looking to your friend, co-worker, husband or wife for validation, be careful. It can stop a lot of multimillion-dollar ideas in their tracks in the beginning.” Sara Blakel.

Useful Links

Link to previous week’s blog entry: How to Succeed Against All the Odds: Succes for Manager's Tip 134

Free Confidence ecourse

Free ebook – The Success Ladder: How to Succeed at Any Goal

"I've just read Madeleine's 'The Success Ladder' over the weekend. What a great easy and effective guide for any aspiring leader. It's very easy to read and most importantly the actions are very powerful which I've already started to implement. Thank you Madeleine and I look forward to sharing my success with you :-)" Adrian Peck

Free report on 21 ways to add 100k to your profits

7 Secrets About Personal and Business Success You Can Learn From SCUBA Diving

22Sep/150

How to Stop Irritating Behaviour Irritating You: Confidence Tip 133

Life Coaching and Confidence Coaching

How to Stop Annoying People and Irritating Behaviour Irritating You

Have you ever been frustrated by irritating behaviour and people? For instance:

  • People, or companies, not doing what they promised?
  • People turning up late, consistently
  • People being unfair
  • Selfish behaviour
  • People apologising but not changing their behaviour

Those are a few of my pet peeves. What are yours?

Have you ever wished you had a cool way to stop that irritating behaviour in its tracks?

I like this approach…

A mother from Norwich penned a hilarious note asking people to avoid knocking on her door and waking her new-born twins. This was after Natasha Butler’s small “No Salesmen etc.” sign was being ignored, so she thought she’d go one better in a bid to keep her sleeping beauties…well, sleeping.

The note, posted to the Unmumsy Mum’s Facebook page reads:

“Twin boys asleep.

Only knock on this door if:

a)     You’re Gary Barlow

b)     I’ve won on the premium bonds

c)     Someone has died

Thanks x”

Isn’t it great how Natasha took a problem into her own hands, and solved it with wit and humour?

Instead of getting stressed out about something or someone else – especially when it’s out of our control – how about taking a deep breath, and rethinking the situation?

It beats complaining to the world about it and…it feels very empowering when we take reasonable and effective action to make our world a better place.

By the way, who would you like to come knocking at your door? J

What’s your next step to becoming more successful in your personal, business and career?

Discover some more choices below.

Madeleine Morgan Life, Career and Business Coaching, Cambridge UK

Warm wishes, Madeleine

P.S. Check out the Special Offers, Quote of the Week, ‘Useful Links’ to life changing free ‘stuff’ below.

Special Offers and Dates for Your Diary

Free Confidential Coaching Discovery Session

Is creating a more rewarding personal, career or business life a must for you in 2015?

Do you have some difficult challenges to face or decisions to make?

If your answer is yes check out these this free 1-2-1 coaching opportunity.

 I have 2 Free Coaching Discovery sessions left to give away this month

During that 60 minute session, we’ll:

  • discuss where you are with your life, career or business and any challenges you face
  • uncover hidden barriers to your success.
  • get clear about the life, career or business you’d like to enjoy

Then I’ll show you how you can bridge that gap. You’ll go away feeling positive, excited and confident about making this year your best year yet.

We can meet at my coaching room in Cambridge (CB4 1LN) or over Skype or telephone.

If you would like to apply for a session, just email me and tell me what days/times would suit you: madeleine@growu.co.uk

Quotes of the Week about Humour in Work and Personal Relationships

  • “Smiling is definitely one of the best beauty remedies. If you have a good sense of humour and a good approach to life, that's beautiful.” Rashida Jones
  • “A person without a sense of humour is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road.” Henry Ward Beecher
  • “In the household in which I was raised, the themes were pretty simple, 'Work hard. Don't quit. Be appreciative, be thankful, be grateful, be respectful. Also, never whine, never complain. And always, for crying out loud, keep a sense of humour.’” Michael Keaton
  • “Basically, I think you need two things to get by in this world: a sense of humour and the ability to laugh when your ego is destroyed.” Ario Guthrie
  • “Kindness and a generous spirit go a long way. And a sense of humour. It's like medicine - very healing.” Max Irons
  • “Common sense and a sense of humour are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humour is just common sense, dancing.” Clive James

Useful Links

Link to previous week’s blog entry: How to Stop Small Issues Becoming Big Arguments: Confidence Tip 132

Free Confidence ecourse

Free ebook – The Success Ladder: How to Succeed at Any Goal

"I've just read Madeleine's 'The Success Ladder' over the weekend. What a great easy and effective guide for any aspiring leader. It's very easy to read and most importantly the actions are very powerful which I've already started to implement. Thank you Madeleine and I look forward to sharing my success with you :-)" Adrian Peck

Free report on 21 ways to add 100k to your profits

7 Secrets About Personal and Business Success You Can Learn From SCUBA Diving

Filed under: Relationships No Comments
16Sep/150

How to Stop Small Issues Becoming Big Arguments: Confidence Tip 132

7 Top Tips to Build Great Work and Personal Relationships and Prevent Small Issues Becoming Big Arguments

building-self-confidence-icon-2-220x3002A BBC Radio 4 programme I tune into sometimes presents fascinating snippets of conversations between people. These conversations often provide thought provoking, moving or funny insights into our personal and working relationships.

One conversation I heard recently inspired the tips in this week’s message to you. It reminded me of how small issues can turn into big arguments or simmering resentment.

It involved a mother and her twenty-something daughter. The mother was saying that the only thing that really irritated her, on a regular basis, about her daughter was that her daughter didn’t do her bra straps up before she put her bras in the laundry basket.

The daughter laughed on hearing this and gave the impression that she thought this was a silly thing to get hung up on when the rest of their relationship was so good.

Why was this a big issue for the mother? Because the hooks in her daughter’s bra straps snagged the lace in other delicate clothing, when they were in the washing machine, and ruined them…and her daughter just couldn’t see that.

This conversation reminded me of an argument I heard in a work place. A male colleague was really furious with a female colleague because she kept leaving the knives and forks blade and prong end up in the drainage container in the staff kitchen.

The female colleague complained that the male colleague couldn’t understand that it was an easy thing to forget to do. She felt his reaction was completely over the top.

He couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t do something that would prevent others getting stabbed by the knives and forks every time they absent-mindedly reached for some cutlery.

Why is it important to do something constructive about these seemingly small but difficult issues?
I’ll bet you can think of many apparently trivial issues that have sparked off similar arguments. Maybe you’ve also noticed these issues, if unresolved, can scratch away at the good will, trust and good feelings in a work or personal relationship. These issues can build on one another until the relationship collapses under the weight of them.

Those strong reactions to seemingly trivial issues can also be the tip of the iceberg or a warning sign. A sign that there may be a bigger issue that it’s difficult to talk about, that’s hidden by these easier to talk about ones.

Why do such seemingly ‘small’ and ‘trivial’ things provoke such strong negative reactions and angry feelings in personal and working relationships? 

Often it’s because of the often unexpressed and negative meanings the person doing the requesting and complaining puts on the fact that the other person doesn’t comply. For instance:

  • “They don’t care about me.”
  • “They don’t respect me.”
  • “They’re doing it to irritate me.”
  • “They won’t even do a simple thing like… to help me…”
  • “They’re inconsiderate.”
  • Etc.

This is sometimes made worse by the defensive or dismissive reaction of the person being complained about, especially if they don’t apologise or accept responsibility or do anything to stop it happening again. For example:

  • “I just forgot!”
  • “You’re always nagging.”
  • “Haven’t you got more important things to worry about?”
  • “What about all the good things I’ve done?”
  • “I’ve got more important things to think about.”
  • “I didn’t mean to…”
  • Etc.

So what can we do to make sure the small stuff doesn’t become the big stuff in our work and personal relationships? Here are 7 top tips:

  1. Have an agreement about how you’re going to tackle issues in a constructive way
  2. Deal with small issues before they become big ones
  3. Give a compelling reason why you want someone to do something before you ask them to do it
  4. Avoid putting negative interpretations on people’s actions. Instead:When dealing with other people’s complaints about you, avoid dismissing people’s concerns and requests before understanding why it’s important to them. Be curious. Look for a win-win
    1. Make sure you get buy-in from someone before you assume they’ll do what you ask
    2. Find out what they mean by not doing something you expect
    3. If they’re not doing something you feel is reasonable, find out why
    4. If they say they forgot, ask them what they will do to remember
    5. Reflect on whether your emotions are really about a different issue you’re avoiding talking about. If they are, find a win-win way to broach the topic.
  5. When dealing with other people’s complaints about you, avoid dismissing people’s concerns and requests before understanding why it’s important to them. Be curious. Look for a win-win
  6. Avoid making excuses. Apologise and accept responsibility when you’re in the wrong
  7. Build trust by having a proper calm discussion about issues or requests you find unreasonable rather than just passively not complying or aggressively making the other person wrong

What’s your next step to becoming more successful in your personal, business and career ?

Discover some more choices below

Madeleine Morgan Business Coach Cambridge
Madeleine Morgan Business Coach Cambridge

Warm wishes, Madeleine

 P.S. Check out the Special Offers, Quote of the Week, ‘Useful Links’ to life changing free ‘stuff’ below.

 Special Offers and Dates for Your Diary

 Free Confidential Coaching Discovery Session

Is creating a more rewarding personal, career or business life a must for you in 2015?

Do you have some difficult challenges to face or decisions to make?

If your answer is yes check out these this free 1-2-1 coaching opportunity.

I have 2 Free Coaching Discovery sessions left to give away this month

During that 60 minute session, we’ll:

  • discuss where you are with your life, career or business and any challenges you face
  • uncover hidden barriers to your success.
  • get clear about the life, career or business you’d like to enjoy

Then I’ll show you how you can bridge that gap. You’ll go away feeling positive, excited and confident about making this year your best year yet.

We can meet at my coaching room in Cambridge (CB4 1LN) or over Skype or telephone.

If you would like to apply for a session, just email me and tell me what days/times would suit you: madeleine@growu.co.uk

Quotes of the Week about Arguments in Work and Personal Relationships

  • “The silence is the worst part of any fight, because it's made up of all the things we wish we could say, if only we had the guts.” Pete Wentz
  • “When you feel like throwing rocks, make sure they're ones no one can throw back.” Rebecca McKinsey
  • “War, they say, is the answer of those who have no arguments left.” Andrew Ashling
  • “Being snappy is a symptom of an argument we forgot to have some way back.” Alain de Botton
  • “We run into some pretty tough arguments sometimes, but the idea is that at the end of the day, my wife and I realize that we'll always be holding each other's hand.” Kyle Chandler
  • “There are all kinds of stupid people that annoy me but what annoys me most is a lazy argument.” Christopher Hitchens
  • “Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance.” Robert Quillen
  • “The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.” Joseph Joubert

Useful Links

Link to previous week’s blog entry: How to Convince them that you can do a Great Job! Confidence Tip 131

Free Confidence ecourse

Free ebook – The Success Ladder: How to Succeed at Any Goal

"I've just read Madeleine's 'The Success Ladder' over the weekend. What a great easy and effective guide for any aspiring leader. It's very easy to read and most importantly the actions are very powerful which I've already started to implement. Thank you Madeleine and I look forward to sharing my success with you :-)" Adrian Peck

Free report on 21 ways to add 100k to your profits

7 Secrets About Personal and Business Success You Can Learn From SCUBA Diving

Filed under: Relationships No Comments
   
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