Building Self Confidence Blog

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



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

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



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:





























































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 Morgan

persuasive writing

Presenting Confidently – Top Tips for Managing Your Audience


1.   Managing Your Audience

Hello, this is Madeleine Morgan from GrowU.

This is the second of a four post series on presenting confidently and skilfully. Last week I talked about four ways to manage yourself, build your confidence and create a confident impression.

This week I’m going to share with you some ideas for managing your audience and keeping your audience interested.

Because, most of the time, we get by in life with the reasonable communications skills most of us learned very haphazardly from parents, the playground and other things we’ve picked up randomly from life experience, we sometimes under-estimate the special communications skills we need to learn for career and business success.

This quotation from David Gordon gives us a useful and challenging warning:

He said: ‘Just because you are making a noise in my direction don’t assume you are communicating with me.’

Maybe you have some experiences that help you understand the value of those words such as – lost sales, failed interviews, luke warm responses to work presentations and audiences who just didn’t ‘Get it’.

With that in mind here are some useful tips:

Let’s start with some useful questions for you to answer about your presentation:

a.    What is the purpose of my presentation – to inform, engage, enthuse, educate, impress, persuade, sell, get referrals? How will I achieve this?

b.    How will I know if my presentation has been successful? Remember that presentations are more about how the message is received than about ‘broadcasting’ to your audience. The acid test of the success of your presentation is the action your audience takes as a result of it.

For instance, do they buy something from you or adopt a new way of doing things or bring you referrals or…? If your audience enjoyed your presentation but didn’t take the action you intended them to take then you need to rethink your presentation. I remember listening to a presentation on how to get more business by referral. He gave lots of useful tips but ended the presentation with a funny but irrelevant joke. I can’t remember the tips but I do remember the joke.

c.     How can I establish rapport with my audience? This is important because people are more open to accepting your ideas if they know, like and trust you. Some ways to establish rapport are outlined in the points below.

d.    What experience/knowledge/skill does my audience have in relation to the topic of the presentation? What do I need to do to ensure they understand and so feel engaged?

Through you (your body language, voice qualities, ability to summarise, live explanation, question answering etc) and PowerPoint, Role Play, Music, Video, Audience Participation etc. you have the opportunity give your audience a valuable, easily understood and interesting visual/hearing/feeling experience of your topic and make it easier for your audience to make use of the content of your presentation in the way you intended, e.g. to remember and implement.

e.    How does my audience best understand and recall information? How should that influence my presentation style?

Research shows that while spoken and written communication is important most peope also need more help:

  • 40% of people understand and remember information better when it’s presented visually – with pictures, graphs, diagrams, video etc.
  • 20% of people best understand and recall information that is heard, especially when it is said with a variety of voice tones/speeds/expressions. This may also include other sounds such as music, sound effects etc.
  • 40% of people prefer to be ‘walked through’ information step by step and/or have a practical/tactile/emotional experience of it.

f.      Make use of metaphors and stories. We naturally learn and understand by comparing what we do know to something that we don’t know. Metaphors can help your audience understand in an instant what would take many more words to explain. For instance, when people ask me what I do I often compare the life and business coaching I do to what a sports coach does – like a sports coach I help my clients get great results through helping them improve their skills and/or changing their mindset. When I explain it this way people quickly understand the value of the coaching relationship in creating success.

They say, ‘Facts tell, stories sell’. Telling a story can be a great way of opening up your audience’s mind to consider new ideas and information.

g.    What is the audience’s purpose in being there? What do they think they are there for? You may need to find out or explain that. Then you may need to explain early on in your presentation how your presentation fits with their purpose in being in the audience.

h.    What is important to your audience? How will you address their key concerns, interests, etc.? For instance, are they interested in technical excellence, ‘green’ issues, innovation, exam success, in doing a good job and being seen as professional? Your audience will be most attentive and engaged if you are showing them how to achieve what’s important to them.

i.      What are the beliefs and culture of your audience? How will you take that into account? For instance, are they suspicious of your profession? Are there common beliefs you’ll need to influence them to change?

j.      Sometimes you have the unhappy task of delivering bad news. There are ways to do this in a positive light – for instance state what has been learned from mistakes.

Apparently a manufacturer once intended to create a hard glue that would stick things together permanently. The formula turned out to be too weak but another use was found for it and Post-it notes were born!

Are there any advantages to some of the setbacks that have been experienced?

k.     When you have good news to report, make the most of it. For instance if you’re reporting on progress, mention the deliverable and then put the icing on the cake by mentioning the benefits and outcomes of achieving that. For instance, if a new website has been created for the project, what has that achieved in terms of marketing the project or how is it being used for the benefit of users? Case studies are useful stories to include here.

l.      Handling questions – this is a huge topic but here are some tips.

  • The best time to handle an awkward question is before it is asked because this gives you more control over the presentation and shows you are well prepared. That means you need to think about the difficult questions you think will be raised and give information that answers them in your presentation.
  • If you can’t answer a question at the time you can say that you will find the answer and get back to them within an agreed timescale.
  • Sometimes it’s suitable to throw the question over to the audience to get suggestions and ideas.

So, there are many ways to manage manage your audience and keep them engaged. I’ve covered 12 of them today very briefly.

If you want to find out more about confident and skilful presenting go to

If you want to find out more about sales presenting go to

Next week I’ll be talking about techniques to help you manage the content of your presentation and avoid what has been called, ‘Death by Powerpoint’.

In the meantime, good luck with your presentations. I’d love to know how you get on


How to be Assertive in Relationships

iphone spyware


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.


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


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

help with essay

Building Self Confidence – Action for Happiness


I was listening to breakfast TV yesterday morning on the BBC and heard about a new charity called Action for Happiness.

Why would there be the need for such a charity? Well, it seems that the richer our society gets the unhappier we are!

That’s weird isn’t it? Surely we’ve got more to be happy about than ever – even with the recession on we still have a great material standard of living compared to millions of people in the world. We enjoy greater physical safety and there are more safety nets if our personal world falls apart than in many countries

Part of the BBC report showed various members of the public giving their ideas about what would make them happy. Their answers included: a bath, a fulfiling career, that it would suddenly be Friday afternoon and time to go home from work.

It struck me that all of their answers were around ‘I’ll be happy when…’ None of them were about how they could be happy in the moment. We can all relate to that. I know I feel more upbeat when the sun shines.

The trouble with the kind of happiness that depends on certain events taking place is - what if they don’t? Are we dooming ourselves to be unhappy for no good reason?

Here are some great antidotes to unhappiness my clients find really helpful and that you can start to use immediately:

  • Build your confidence so that you can bounce back quickly after a setback.
  • Learn how to create win-win discussions so that even if someone wants something different from you, or has a different opinion, you don’t have to get defensive and argue with friends, family, colleagues or clients.
  • Practise speeding up the time it takes for you to turn your attention away from a problem and towards a solution.
  • Keep a gratitude diary – find reasons to be happy and write down all the small and big things you are grateful for. If you can’t be reasonably happy, try being unreasonably happy! 🙂
  • Express gratitude – let your family, friends, clients and colleagues know what you appreciate about them. Include yourself – you need to be your own best friend 🙂
  • Have a motivating reason to live. My motivating purpose is to help people create even more abundance in their lives – an abundance of the good things in life such as joy, confidence, health, fulfiling relationships, love, rewarding careers and businesses and wealth. When I remember it, I feel very happy and it keeps me going even when I experience setbacks.
  • Choose to spend your time with positive and supportive people. For instance, weed out any negative ‘friends’ and see a life or business coach regularly to help you get perspective, clear sense of purpose, master your emotions and clear the way to overcoming challenges and achieving your goals faster.

All these things are within your power and give you control over your life and level of happiness.

Create a happy day! 🙂

Warm wishes


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, where you’d like to be and how you can get there.

Email Madeleine at or phone Cambridge 01223 964516 to book your phone, Skype or face-to-face session.

PPS: You can download a free confidence mini-course from

"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, Marketing Manager

The Confidence Coach

The Confidence Coach

make penis bigger

Help with Confidence – Secrets to Dealing Confidently with Feedback


Have you ever asked for or just been given someone’s opinion – perhaps about a task you’ve done at work, some clothes you’ve bought, a dish you’ve cooked, a presentation you’ve made or an idea you have?

Was that opinion ever negative and critical?

Did you feel your confidence was undermined by it?

If so, I’ve got some great secrets for dealing confidently with feedback to share with you.

Just recently I’ve been delivering various training and group coaching sessions in confident presenting, confident leading, confident in personal relationships, confident selling and building self-confidence, in addition to my 121 work with clients. One thing I learned early on about delivering coaching and training sessions is the value of getting feedback.

In my early days of training I used to look at feedback sheets with a mixture of dread and excitement. I looked forward to the praise, especially if I felt it had gone really well.

But, part of me was worried that I had unwittlingly messed up and that someone would say something critical which would then play on my mind.

Then I began to realise that the feedback forms were designed to encourage people to give balanced, constructive and quality feedback. So, whatever the feedback was it would be useful – if it was praise then I would know I was on the right track and if it was critical then I’d know what to change to make it better next time. This gives me even more confidence for the future.

The trouble with most situations in life is that we can’t give out forms that encourage people to give balanced feedback.

So, here are some secrets I’ve learned to make sure I get quality feedback that has built my confidence with colleagues, clients, family and friends and the occasional difficult person.

Use these tips and they will help you build even more confidence in your life. In fact, you’ll never dread critical comments again! J

I’m careful about who I take notice of – I only ask for feedback from people who are ‘qualified’. These are people who are willing to give balanced, constructive and quality feedback. That way I can feel confident about asking them.

  • Feedback Confidence Secret 2

I ask those people curious questions so that it’s easier for them to give me balanced, constructive and quality feedback e.g. What do you like about….? What would make it even better? What makes you think that…?

  • Feedback Confidence Secret 3

If they haven’t waited to be asked and have just fired off some critical comments, I ask those questions in tip 2.

  • Feedback Confidence Secret 4

I give balanced, constructive and quality feedback so that I can be a good role model for people around me of how I would like to be treated.

They say feedback is the breakfast of champions. Getting quality feedback has definitely helped me go from strength to strength.

I’d love to know how you get on with these tips.

Have fun!

Warm wishes


P.S. You can download more valuable confidence tips at

P.P.S. If you'd like to find out more about how to fast track your journey to natural confidence, please email Madeleine at to book a free discovery session. We explore where you are with your confidence, where you'd like to be and what resources are available to bridge the gap.

Madeleine Morgan is a qualified Life Coach and NLP Master Practitioner based in Cambridge CB4 1LN UK

realnet - websites that perform