Tag Archives: self-confidence

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 65: Getting the whole experience right

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

There’s one café in the town I live in that is just packed.  Several other café’s in the same street look embarrassed being so empty in comparison. It’s called Kek and I usually avoid it because I don’t like busy places. But last week, a friend texted me to suggest we meet up there and it was too late to try changing venues by the time I got the message.

She was already there when I arrived, and it looked like the chair opposite her was the last one available in the whole cafe.  It was bustling and I tried not to bristle with hostility for the lack of space.

Over the following half-hour I didn’t realise how much the experience there had seduced me: it was such a subtle transition. The service was impeccable, the delivery was prompt, the coffee was presented with care and tasted great, the ambiance was warm and relaxing, the décor was fascinatingly homely – with that kind of bohemian, natural mix-and-match look, without looking overdone or pretentious. The music was funky and not too loud.

There’s actually a sign they have to use at the front door informing people how to queue without getting in the way of the cyclists outside – it’s that popular.

They’ve got it ALL RIGHT.  All of it. Every aspect. It’s an inspiration.  And that’s where I’m going with Mirror Mirror now.

I delivered a workshop for a small consultancy in London last week.  I know one of the guys there – he’s fantastic – very professional (another inspiration) and he’s helped get me in to this consultancy to help their team as well as to show them how it works so they can offer it to their clients.  We’ve already been working hard to submit 3 proposals to their clients, which is exciting.

My consultancy contact loved the Mirror Mirror report and workshop – he’s such a fan. Afterwards, he said

“Why don’t you print the report on thicker paper, add a field ‘Your Name’ and some spaces for notes, so that people in workshops can make it their own?  You could put it in a proper binder so it looks like something they want to keep.”

So cool.

We are starting to hone every aspect of the user experience.  Our last customer told me they loved how we customised our process to suit them. Right now, I’m on a train to Cologne for a workshop to set up our first database.  With this we’ll be more able to add / change questions and their phraseology. And we are starting to gather enough benchmark data that we’ll be able to include comparison stats in our reports.

The report we issued for the consulting organization earlier this week included ‘error bars’, which shows the average score per item as well as what the highest and lowest scores are.  This is very important detail when you want to know where the team is already aligned. I can’t tell you how long it took to pull that together – and it seemed to be one of those problems that seems to be difficult even though there was always some kind of reason why it didn’t happen – but we kept going with it and will never go back.

My ‘chat’ / pitch is getting much better after so much practice.  I’m constantly updating our customer facing materials as the explanation improves.

One of the clients we are pitching too loved the slides we sent him before a meeting so much that we didn’t need to go through them at all – they had already accelerated our conversation.

Amazingly, I’m getting compliments on how I’m doing as a facilitator and feel ready to facilitate any group, no matter how senior.  It’s moving forward.

I did have a bit of a dip last week as 3 possibilities I had been chasing last year fell through (budget / priorities / other) but that was then.

Yesterday I submitted another proposal to a global foods organization I’ve been courting for a while – and got on well with my contact there when we finally got to meet on my last London trip.

I do get feedback that the global consultancies already have offerings like this. But that’s where I can compete. They wrap it up in months-long consultancy packages.  Mirror Mirror is a lean intervention and clients seem to be very happy.  That’s what I’m working on.

Someone indicated that they thought my progress hadn’t been that fast after 2 years of having the product on the market.  A while back, that thought would have hurt.  These days, I just disagree.  Sod what they think.

This isn’t just a consultancy offering it’s a proprietary process in constant development.  Areas on my list to progress are legal and financial. I’m outsourcing jobs on graphic design, data management, platform development and marketing.  I’m doing business development, working up delivery partners, building up my knowledge in multiple disciplines, talking to universities about research proposals, and the list goes on.  I’m fully busy and not for the sake of it, I don’t think!

Now I’m going to do things at a pace that makes sense.  I have the luxury of the family loan I got at the end of last year to do that.  I spend wisely, work hard, and I’m aiming to be the best.

Mirror Mirror – … because a collective focus, with each team at the centre, drives performance.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

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Presence – the greatest gift a coach can give you

 

In her now legendary Ted talk of 2012, Amy Cuddy explores the suggestion that your body language may shape who you are. While it has long been understood that our non-verbal communication, like posture and other forms of body language, affects the way people see us, Cuddy and her colleagues focused their work on exploring whether our non-verbals affect how we think and feel about ourselves. Our minds change our bodies, says Cuddy, but can our bodies change our minds? Her TED talk answers this question by showing that the physical assumption of high or low power poses significantly impact an individual’s sense of what is possible.

Basically, what you present is what you become. If you hold the posture of a powerful, confident person, you begin to assume the power and confidence that you associate with that type of person. The same is also true of the inverse: if you adopt a low power, low confidence pose, you automatically conduct yourself with less confidence and personal power. Cuddy eventually distills this effect into one word: presence. In this context, presence refers to the ability to physically access one’s latent confidence, authority, passion and enthusiasm, and Cuddy selected the word as the title of her 2015 book, Presence – Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.

Watching Cuddy’s TED talk for the first time I was struck by her zeal and sincerity – this topic clearly meant more to her than its academic interest. Towards the end of the talk we discover why: in the summer after her sophomore year in college Cuddy wa its involved in a major car accident which left her with a traumatic brain injury. She was told that she would never finish college, but through hard work and perseverance she not only finished college, she went on to complete her graduate studies at Princeton and land a job at Harvard Business School. Despite these accolades, Cuddy struggled to shake off a nagging voice in her head that said, ‘I don’t belong here.’ How she overcame that voice and arrive at her philosophy of ‘fake it till you become it’ is a moving personal story that draws the viewer closer to her.

Then, approximately 18:30 into the video, while sharing the account of a desperate student that approached her one day with the words ‘I don’t belong here’, Cuddy falters. She is overcome with emotion and needs to pause her presentation to regain her composure. In that moment we all feel what Amy Cuddy feels: the struggles, the fear, the hardship, the hard work, the pain and the triumph. We drop into a place of empathy and compassion that visibly impacts the live audience listening to her. We are connected to her and somehow to each other. In a talk about physical presence, Cuddy’s testimony and vulnerability give us an unscripted glimpse of a deeper, richer type of presence. Being able to access this kind of presence is what makes good coaches great.

Though the veracity of Cuddy’s scientific work has been criticized in recent years, it continues to point to an important aspect of deeper presence: the body. The Harvard teacher’s TED talk and subsequent book famously advocate the use of certain postures to achieve better behavioral outcomes, but there are, in my opinion, even greater rewards to be achieved through presence. And the body is a good place to start. The yogic traditions of the east have for centuries used the body as a gateway to specific states of mind. Mindfulness meditation – the art of training the mind – rests on the body as a primary tool, with foundational practices like Breathing Meditation and the Body Scan. Even the Navy SEALs use breathing practices to calm their nervous systems and bring themselves back into the present.

The key here is embodiment. Presence is not something you think about, it’s something you manifest. At its deepest and most authentic it can only happen when you are right here in this moment, not thinking about the past or future. In a coaching conversation this is critical. If your coach is planning your next steps while you are still busy talking or, even worse, trying to remember what’s for dinner, they are not fully present. And, because all coaches are human, all clients have experienced this before. Whether you’re aware of it or not, presence feels different. We can all sense when someone is not genuinely tuned into us – even if they are making all the right noises and gestures they are somehow not connected to us. Hopefully, however, you have also experienced what it is like when a coach is fully present. Everything changes. When a person listens to you with full attention you feel heard beyond just your words. You feel understood, safe and capable of great degrees of trust. In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, “The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention.” In such conditions your potential for change and development soars. This capacity is called Coaching Presence and is one of the ICF’s Core Competencies, but coaches’ abilities in this competency naturally vary.

As a client, presence is one of the first things you should be looking for when choosing a coach. Use your free coaching intake session to get a feel for the coach’s level of ‘here-ness’. Is she listening to more than just your words? Is he showing up fully for the process or is his mind elsewhere? Do you think she has the potential to sit with you in difficult moments without flinching? Without a coach grounded in presence and authentic attention you may not achieve the results you deserve.

 

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Visit Koach.net to discover how our coaches can help you find clarity at work and at home, and can lead you to a more successful and fulfilled you.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

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Be the best you can be

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No matter what you do, you should do it to the best of your ability. You should set goals and work as hard as you can to reach these goals. I measure success by how much effort I have put forth, not by other’s people assessment of my accomplishments. If I have tried as hard as I can, then I am a success, no matter what the result of my endeavor.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 62: Momentum and Learning

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

The Netherlands

On Friday 14 December, we discovered that some reports we had produced for an EU organization in Berlin were incorrect.  The reports were out of our normal scope, and created at the client’s request, for 15 managers based on ratings given to these four statements by people in their teams:

  • My manager sets clear goals and objectives
  • My manager is available to help with problems
  • My manager initiates discussions on progress
  • My manager provides feedback and direction as needed

This is part of a section of our work that looks at factors of team effectiveness that are mainly outside of the control of the team members themselves.

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Lindsay’s In Business PART 61: All things to all people – stupid me 

What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

I’m back in London and sitting in a café bar with my Business Development Director. We’re soon to meet a well-connected, very insightful contact he’s set up for me. We talk for the first time about the misalignment bonanza between us over the past months.

I realise now that he had held back from opening up his network to Mirror Mirror because the proposition just isn’t right.  It’s not something he feels he can sell. I don’t know how far that was conscious or unconscious, but while I’d been super task and delivery focused with the plan to revamp and sell sell sell, he’d been more people and impact focused. I’d lost trust with him way too quickly and he’d lost the communication with me way too quickly.

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 60: 2019 Anchors 

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

So now I’m delivering Mirror Mirror for 22 teams within the next 4 weeks.  Fair enough it’s only 2 clients who are coincidentally running multiteam workshops, but there are other likely clients in the pipeline and I feel like I’m in an ENTIRELY different world.

My brain is full of learnings, planning, and preparations for clients.  I’m drawing on my extended freelance team to customize questions and design new reports. I’m orchestrating a chain of actions and briefings that will guide each team through the Mirror Mirror process in a way that makes the most sense and adds the most value.

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 59: Success and stress

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

Did I tell you that my goal for 2018 was to sell Mirror Mirror six times? I promised myself that if I didn’t achieve that goal, I should review the feasibility of the business (although it would take a lot more than a few sales short to quit).

The last time I posted a blog with Femflections, there had been 2 sales for 2018. Now it looks like there could be 7!  When I say a ‘sale’ it doesn’t have to be delivered within 2018, but it does look like a few more might be, even though it’s November already. That’s incredible! What a boost.

I need to tell you all about it…

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