Building Self Confidence Blog

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


Confidence at Work – Recession Proofing Your Career or Your Business

When you know how to recession proof your wealth creation - whether you have a career or a business - it can be a great source of confidence. Here are some ideas to help you protect your income in difficult times.

Have you ever wondered why companies choose to make workers redundant rather than cut salaries? After all, it doesn't seem to make sense to get rid of the people they've invested in recruiting and  training when, if they keep those people employed, the company will have the talent to take advantage of rising demand when we pull out of the recession. Why not renegotiate the salaries and keep their team employed? That would also be a better outcome for employees and their families than facing redundancy.

Well studies show that employees' morale goes down when their salaries are cut and they respond by working less. Many people live up to and beyond their salaries so a general salary cut would also spread  misery. Business owners and managerment teams use redundancies to get rid of people who are not pulling their weight or who are destroying team morale. So employers prefer a small number of employees to be miserable by making them redundant than by upsetting the majority. Studies also show that redundancies boost the productivity of of the employees who remain because they are more motivated to prove their value. Apparently most workers would rather keep their salaries than save their colleagues.

What if there was a better way forward where employees and employers could win? I've got some recession surviving and thriving tips for you whether you are an  employer or an employee.

First of all, here are 5 secrets for recession proofing your career if you want to avoid redundancy, stay employed and thrive in difficult times:

  1. Whatever expertise you have and whatever industry you're working in, look out of niches. What I mean by that is      areas where there is a lot of demand for people with skills, knowledge and experience and few people who have it. For instance, with one of my clients we identified that her company in the pharmaceutical industry was losing business because nobody was really skilled at putting effective teams together to bid for certain projects.  I shared with her some useful skills and she soon started to earn more bonuses for extra business the company gained. She was also able to fast track her career and later got promoted from business development manager to director of business development.
  2. Recession Proof Your Career: Use Social Media tools like Linkedin to help you  get known for that expertise - it's free! If you don't know how to use Social Media for promoting yourself click here.
  3. Successful people take charge of their  personal development - emotional intelligence and great communication skills can give you an edge over your more your difficult or less communicative colleagues. There's a saying that we get hired for our technical/professional skills and fired for our communication skills!
  4. Take up every course opportunity related to your professional and personal development that your company offers you. When you gain more knowledge and skill it's like putting money in your bank account. Training is a valuable perk in your employment package.
  5. Then, create a personal development budget to fill in the  gaps especially, if your company doesn't provide training. Private Life, Career and Executive Coaching is a great 21st century resource. It gives you the opportunity to talk about and get skilled in handling challenges you may not be able to talk about, or get the personal attention you need, at work. Life, Career or Executive coaching can help you get more clarity, focus and direction on how to:

3 tips for Managers and Business Owners to help you survive and thrive in the recession:

  1. Focus on building your team's morale to increase productivity and help you keep your talented people. I'm not talking about fixing up expensive outward bound team away days that are difficult to measure in terms of return on investment. I'm talking about the more every day things.
  2. For instance, make sure that when someone does a good job they get the recognition they deserve and everyone hears about it. Weed out team leaders who make their team's life hell because of their poor leadership skills. If you want to keep them, give them 1-2-1 coaching with a coach who is skilled at changing people's attitude - it's 80% more effective than training in getting results.
  3. Positvely and inspirationally engage your whole workforce in the task of helping your company to thrive rather than deciding things in high level meetings and handing down the bad news. A business owner I coached created weekly meetings where his team expressed their achievements, discussed their ideas for recession-proofing the business and brought referrals they had gained from tapping into their networks. Morale and productivity went up and the business owner tapped into resources in his team he didn't know were there before. For instance, his whole team, in effect, became his sales force and business development team because everyone was more aware of their potential to grow the business.

They say obstacles arise when we take our eyes off our goals. Let's keep focussed on creating a rewarding present and future.

I wish you health, wealth and happiness

Warm wishes


Madeleine Morgan uses NLP, coaching, personality profiling and training skills to help professionals, managers and business owners to create more rewarding lives, careers and businesses.

She is based in Cambridge UK and works locally, nationally and internationally in companies and at her coaching practice, face-to-face, over the telephone and on Skype.

She has over 20 years coaching and training experience and has worked with corporates, charities, SMEs and government organisations as well as 953 private clients who are mangers, professionals or business owners.

I like to reward action, so if you take the action to contact me I'll offer you a free no obligation Discovery Session to help you clarify where you are now, where you'd like to be and how to bridge the gap.

01223 426392

Madeleine morgan NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer Cambridge, Personal Development Coach Cambridge, Business Coach Cambridge, Career Coach Cambridge, Executive Coach Cambridge, Communication Skills Trainer Cambridge, Personality profiler Cambridge

Madeleine Morgan


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

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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


Confidently Dealing with Criticism

Have you ever been criticised? It's one of the hardest things to deal with when you lack confidence isn't it? When you hear it or read it your body tenses as if you're about to receive a punch, your stomach churns and inside you fear it might be true or your mind rejects it as totally unfair.

Let's  be honest, sometimes that criticism is fair - it's just poorly worded and delivered feedback.

Sometimes it's just spiteful.

I'll be suggesting some ways of dealing with badly delivered feedback in another post. For now I want to share with you a helpful way of thinking about the spiteful stuff.

There's story about how Buddha thought about criticism that I thought you would find uplifting:

A man met Buddha on the street one day and began to call him mean and ugly names.

Buddha listened quietly and thoughtfully until the man ran out of criticisms, and had to pause for breath.

"If you offer something to a man and he refuses it, to whom does it belong?" asked Buddha.

The spiteful man replied, "It belongs, I suppose, to the one who offered it."

Then Buddha said, "The abus

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e and vile names you offer me, I refuse to accept."

The man turned and walked away.

Have a serene day 😉

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 will explore where you are with your confidence, where you'd like to be and what resources are available to bridge the gap.

Madeleine Morgan

Life Coach, NLP Master Practioner and Trainer

"Over the sessions I had with Madeleine I learnt a lot about myself through her personality quiz and a lot about how to manage the challenges I was facing at work. She was very patient and helped me make a big career decision. Madeleine is warm, caring and a great listener. I couldn't have made my decision without her!" Jo Brewin, Teacher

Cambridge, CB4 1LN

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Confident Career Building Coaching Programme


The Secrets to having Confidence at Work Revealed:


There are many reasons why even the most talented professionals, managers, business owners and consultants lose confidence at work, such as:

  • a difficult relationship with their boss, client or team member,
  • being in the wrong role
  • outgrowing your earlier career choices
  • lack of knowledge about what to choose and how to make a career change
  • trying to juggle career/business and home,
  • lack of self-esteem
  • unreasonable deadlines
  • lack of reward and recognition
  • economic recession
  • difficult economic climate
  • lack of the right kind of support, coaching and training


The list is endless…


Why is it Important to Feel Confident at Work?


Because the more confident you are at work the more likely you are to get rewarded in every way. You have more chance of:

ü  Earning a higher salary/profits

ü  Gaining a promotion

ü  Achieving impressive results

ü  Choosing the right career path for you

ü  Getting the recognition and respect you deserve

ü  Having fun while you earn

ü  Trying new and exciting things

ü  Feeling part of a great team

ü  Learning and growing

ü  Making a positive difference


How to Make a Confident Career Change


Your work takes up a huge chunk of your life. What’s more, you’ll never get that time back. So, don’t you owe it to yourself to do something you’re happy with and excited about, something that’s really rewarding?


It would be a shame if you missed out when you could be one of the 20% doing a job they love and getting well paid for it too.


Whether you want to return to work after a career break or take stock after being made redundant or you can see it’s time for a change, I can help you save time and make it easier for you to:


ü  get clarity, focus and direction

ü  take the steps that find the right job/career for you

ü  discover the 4 key elements YOU need in a job you’ll enjoy

ü  play to your strengths, so you can be more successful and fulfilled

ü  decide whether to stay in a job or start a business

ü  choose the right time to move on

ü  confidently handle challenges such as restructuring, redundancy, retirement

ü  maximise your earning potential

ü  increase your promotion potential


The Secrets to Being Confident and Richly Rewarded at Work

I’ve made it my job to discover the secrets of the people who have confidence at work and who are richly rewarded on all levels. These are just some of the ways I can help you develop your career confidence, build your self-esteem at work and earn more:


ü  recession-proof your career or business

ü  feel prepared and confident for a job interview or appraisal

ü  learn the secrets that help you get the recognition you deserve

ü  grow your confidence and skills so that your problems seem small

ü  confidently handle challenges such as restructuring, getting a new boss and promotion

ü  have employers and clients ringing you instead of you having to search for a job 


ü  create more successful working relationships with clients and colleagues

ü  put right a situation that’s gone wrong

ü  learn to read people and situations like a book

ü  deal easily with difficult colleagues and clients

ü  develop your selling, negotiating and influencing skills

ü  cross the minefield of office politics and competitive environments safely

ü  be the manager they remember for all the right reasons

ü  manage your manager


ü  take the stress out of balancing home and work

ü  discover the secrets of effective time management

ü  Give up procrastination and get motivated





How to Get Your Hands on These Life Changing Strategies

If you want to read more, sign up for your free report worth £9.99: 7 Secrets to Feeling Naturally Confident and the monthly tips. 


‘I left my job feeling my career was going nowhere. Madeleine has helped me to take back control. First we clarified what I really wanted to do and then we worked on strategies to build confidence, unlock my creativity and develop leadership and communication skills. Now I've got a great new job and I honestly believe I wouldn't have done it half as well without my life coach.’Joan Herbert, Business Development Manager, Cambridge 

If you’re fed up with procrastinating and you’re ready to take a step in an even more life changing direction, email Madeleine at or phone me on 01223 426392, fto book a free discovery coaching session where

During  your Free Confidential Discovery Session:

  • You’ll get crystal clear about what  you want.
  • We’ll uncover any hidden obstacles that may be sabotaging your personal and career success.
  • I’ll help you get reinspired, energised and motivated about rebuilding your career confidence.
  • And I’ll explain the resources and programmes available to help you build your confidence, career, and wealth.

Contact Madeleine now to book your free session - the sooner we talk, the sooner you’ll start enjoying the benefits. or phone  01223 426392











‘I just thought you’d like to know the RAF decided to offer me a place as a pilot. Thank you for your help with my interview technique. I don’t think I would have been able to successfully get through without the advice you gave me.’Matt Wathen


‘When I phoned up Madeleine, I never expected the coaching she gave me to impact on my professional life as well as my personal life. As a teacher, I’ve used the strategies she taught me with colleagues and students to create win-win situations. They’ve enabled me to diffuse and even prevent confrontation and make the learning environment an even more pleasant and successful place to be. I have learned how to successfully deal with stressful situations and I’ve become a better manager of people.’Polly Redmond, Teacher

Confidence Coaching Breakthrough Sessions

Confidence Building Sessions for Professionals, Managers and Business Owners

½ day Discovery Session

We’ll find out life-changing answers to these key questions:

  • What are your strengths?
  • Where are you now? Where do you want to be?
  • What are the hidden forces holding you back from getting what you want in life?
  • What’s your individual blue print for success?

You’ll go away with:

  • A map for how you think and how that influences your behaviour and the results you get in  positive and negative ways
  • A personality profile showing you:
    •  your personal, work and leadership strengths,
    • what holds you back in those areas how others see you –
    • what motivates you in work
    • An inventory of your top skills
    • A map for increasing your confidence on 7 levels

We’ll use all this information to help you get rid of the road blocks in your way, improve your work and personal relationships and development your career/business plan and strengthen your confidence.

 Investment: £597

For more information, email madeleine at

or call 01223 426392

½ Day Breakthrough Session

This is where:

  • We clear your mental and emotional decks and take out the rubbish, the:
    • difficult things that have happened to you in the past,
    • negative things you say to yourself
    • negative influence of others
    • bad habits such as procrastination
    • negative feelings like fear, anger, guilt, sadness and hurt
    • I’ll show you little-known short cuts to creating natural confidence.

Then you can dump the gremlins of the past and enjoy the present and the future

 Investment: £697

For more information, email madeleine at

or call 01223 426392

½ Day Strategy Session-

We put together action plans to create the wealth, work and personal life you really want.

  • Get a clear idea of the big and small things you want to achieve in your relationships, career, business, health, wealth, fun and contribution in life.
  • Prioritise your goals
  • Create a motivating personal and career/business development plan to achieve them

 Investment: £597

For more information, email madeleine at

or call 01223 426392






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