Building Self Confidence Blog
28Sep/13Off

60 Seconds to Confidence Tip #35 Assertively Asking and Refusing

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Our reaction to a request from someone and our way of asking things of people can powerfully affect the quality of our working and personal relationships.

I often find that my clients assume that the answer to a request or suggestion will be a polite or aggressive ‘no’. That assumption often stops them from making requests of friends, colleagues, family members, partners, clients, prospects and suppliers out a fear that they’ll be rejected.



So they don’t, for example:

  • Ask for the sale
  • Put forward an innovative idea
  • Ask someone to go on a date
  • Send a connection request on social media

In doing that, they may have denied someone a welcome opportunity to say ‘yes’.

On the other side of the coin, many of my clients will also judge someone for asking something of them that they don’t want to give - mainly because they feel awkward about saying ‘no’. That awkwardness can be so strong that they grudgingly or reluctantly say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no’ out of fear of seeming rude, unhelpful or incapable. In doing that they may not only take on a bigger burden than they really need to but also deny the requester the opportunity to seek a more willing person.

How can even the most intuitive and sensitive of us know exactly what someone’s response will be unless we ask? Second guessing can make life far more complicated than it need be.

Recently, one of my clients was asked by a prospect if he would be willing to barter his accountancy skills in exchange for her graphic design skills. She put forward her request very tentatively. She wasn’t sure if it was an appropriate suggestion. She was worried that he might be offended.

He was able to reply, ‘It’s okay for you to ask because, in my model of the world, you have a right to ask and I have a right to refuse… and vice versa.’

There may be some situations where a strong command and control structure is appropriate and so this model wouldn’t fit but, for most interactions, wouldn’t life be much simpler if we dealt with each other on those terms? 

With the emotion and fear out of the way, we can concentrate on confidently, skilfully and creatively getting to ‘yes’, such as:

  • ‘Teaching a person to fish rather than giving them a fish’
  • Making better quality business and personal cases for getting what we want
  • Finding win-win outcomes
  • Being clear about where our boundaries are

Madeleine Morgan Executive Coach and Leadership MentorWhere in your work and personal life do you need to be saying ‘no’ more assertively? Where do you need to be requesting more?

Warm wishes
Madeleine

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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