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The Power of Self Confidence – online workshop report


This is the report from Tuesday's online workshop hosted by Peter Hanley.

Welcome to the workshop on the power of self-confidence. I?ll put a few thoughts down and then we can get on with the serious business of chatting. I guess that I started looking into this aspect of what makes someone have a self they can be confident in, when I had to sink or swim in the military[submarines], and people used to say ?you won't get anywhere if you?re too nice?. I think I'd been made aggression-resistant in my childhood, and instinctively knew that anyone who was aggressive probably lacked self-confidence. And having experienced first-hand people who had been nasty, and seeing the emptiness in their eyes, along with the wish that they'd done better with their lives; then I knew that way [nasty] didn't work. Hence why Success-Un Limited aims to help grow people and companies. So, to kick off; How important do you think self-confidence is to your personal/business success? Where do you think self-confidence comes from?
Sorry in case it's not clear, that was me Peter Hanley who put that on the screen
I believe it comes from believing in what you are talking about/ doing and having apassion for it
I think that without self confidence we don't know what success is for ourselves
Hi Hilary - I couldn't agree more, and this is what makes it fun to learn
I think it may also grow /come with experience
It is vital in the training business, so that you can get people to buy into your service
Hi Andrea - do you feel success breds self confidence or the other way round?
Hi Joan - do you think we can just do it from exprience on our own, or do we need help?
Hi David
I feel we need support from possibly more experienced people.
Hullo everyone
It's probably an ever-expanding circle. I do think that when people are lacking confidence it's often because they are not sourcing the positive experiences they have had.
That is an important point Andrea, I cn't help feeling we Brits run ourselves down given a chance, any thoughts?
I think a lot of people do not realise what a good job they are doing because managers are so poor at giving praise and constructive feedback. This would certainly help people get the confidence to push themselves a bit fiurther
Hi tim glad to see you
Yes I think many people focus on what they can't do or don't know.
Yes I think we Brits are very good at running ourselves down but also other people
There is such a blame culture especially in the public sector that people try to have excuses for being wrong as opposed to taking risks
Could we run ourselves down due to the culture in which we don't encourage folk at an early age to express their feeling, thoughts, opionions short is it our education system
I'd go along with praise, but my experience is it takes discipline to regularly give it where it is deserved.
Is the blame culture only in public sector?
David i think you are right, not only the education system but parents as well
But self confidence can only really come from ourselves, can't it? If we put too much responsibility on other people we lose the ability to recognise and acknowlege our own strength and power.
The military is a classic as well however smaller industries do give people more rein
I quite agree Andrea, and it is a fundamental that I take people thorugh in coaching sessions, I can perhpas outline some principles later on if anyone is interested.
Yes I think that would be useful Peter
Why do you think our American cousins are so much more ( in general ) confident than us Brits ( I work for a US company!!! )
Are Americans really more confident or just better at projecting confidence?
Rigidity in Education and parenting do inhibit us I feel, we're conditioned to get so many things right.
very true, I think some of my colleagues are good at impression management but weak on knowledge ( sometimes)
Ah Andrea good point, I think they can be over confident about what they can actully do
Neat phrase David Impression Management - I think that's alied to Andrea's comment
Is being self confident about bluffing some of the time?
Jaon, I think so
So how do we keep developing our self confidence and projecting it without becoming "a pain" !!
Are there any development techniques that can help?
Joan, I would agree. If we can appear confident, and others believe we are confident that will give us more examples and experiences of confidence to draw upon.
Bluffing is OK so long as you know when to stop, and what the consequneces are, but use with extreme care.
Hilary, Do we ask questions rather than tell people
I understand your point Hilary, but a key to success is not to consider yourself a pain, you are just going through a learning experience like everyone else
David Thats fair however in the time pressured industry today it can be difficult to keep away from being just a little aggressive at times when we can get away with it
Hi Frederick just talking about culture diferences and whehter we can learn self confidence through techiniques
Peter - do you think NLP and creative visulisation can improve self confidence ?
I've often wondered whether Americans are more confident because of the better weather they have affects their mood more positiviely, any thougths?
Peter, I think that is another way of putting the responsibility for our confidence on external factors.
Well It rains here in Northern Ireland all the time and we have weird politics and we are on the whole fairly upbeat. Self confident, maybe not
hi, Fred here, of my limited experience of NLP, is it purely a tool for delivery of training to others, or is it a discipline in itself which you have to work through in order to gain self-knowledge first. I am looking for guidance on 'gold-standard' references on NLP? Can you help? Thanks.
David, my key tenet to any technique is, that if people get some benfit for it, then that's OK, no right nor wrong. However NLP may only just mirror actions and used to extreme can upset some people. Creative visualisation helps you explore links naturally
Its raining in Aberdeen as I speak and I feel fairly happy!!!
Sorry to be late, Peter - technology problems - arrrghhhh
Andrea, you're right to raise that, and I'm not suggesting we should use it as an excuse, rahter an influence we should be aware to work within
Good for you David, you see we can take charge of our attitude when we and if we wish
A thought 4. Do you think self-confidence can be learned, or is it only something you have because you?re born with it?
Is there not a danger that over confidence in ourselves can cause mistakes which could badly effect others
Can someone give me an idea of the current topic under debate - I'm not able to see the dialogue before I joined in.
Peter I think that self confidence is often something we need to re-learn.
Definitely learned
Yes Hilary, and it's one of the reasons I link back to achieveing corporate or personal objectives holistically
Hi Tim self confidence, is it a national feature, or due to weather/inflkuences and now whether we can learn or are born with it
I feel it is learned. Having just spent a while at home having a baby etc, my self confidence in my business, which was reasonably high before, plummeted. I have built it back by going back to work and but only part time. I had to work hard getting knowledge and skills back before I could even feel on the same level with others again.
On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is fully self confident, how would people rate themselves at work and privately
I would say about 8 for both.
Good point Hilary - self-confidence seems to take a long time to build, but can be v. quickly eroded, often by a single incident
Work 7: Privately 9
8 work/6 privately ( higher if I've had a couple of drams )
Work can depend on context/degree of difficulty - usually around 8, but in new/awkward situation, plummets to 4. Privately, around 8.
I'm impressed Hilary - you raise an important issue, is our self confidence assessment too dependent on what others think of us, and can it be pushed off course artificiallly?
Welcome Jo - people are discussing their level of confidence
thanks Tim
Hi Jo - we've just been rating our self confidence at work and privately on scalle of 1 to 10, where 10 is high
higher at work than at home/ you entertain doubts and fears in the privacy of your home, you don't always have time luxury when at work. But I often feel self -confidence is part of comparing yourself and your acheivements against other people in your environment, and against your own internal standards?
I think as a trainer I am torn at times between results and giving people a good time. I place too much emphasis on whether they "enjoyed" the sessions as opposed to what they will do as a result of it. I am trying hard to get self confidenec enough to "make them suffer for their art"!!!!!
How we think others perceive us (or think of us) seems to me to be a strong influence; I have to keep reminding myself that what other people think doesn't actually change abnything about me.
It seems Fred is pointing us back to learning/developing our internal standards
I agree Tim, and I think we have to be careful and remember that we don't actually know what others think , we just think we do!
Tim, but if other people think you are too aggressive should you not assess whether this may be true or not and then do something about it
my level of confidence at work - ah - varies depending how many risks I take and how successful the outcome. and here I wonder, as Frederick says, how I measure success! This worry about how others see us might seem to be either a measure of confidence and/or a way to get / avoid feedback. Tricky!
Like your style Hilary - I actually major on whether people enjoyed what I've done with them, because I know it will have worked of rthem. In MBA speak there is a Cathay Pacific question "would you fly with this airline again" frre choice
Another question - who wants to improve their self confidence level (whatever that means) ?
Who wouldn't?
In certain areas, yes.
Peter, Sounds dandy, can we try
Jo - do you find the level of risk you percieve puts you off doing things, and does this in turn affect your self conf?
Hilary and Peter - you both raise the issue of whether people 'like what you're doing' in e.g. a training event - are they having a good time, etc. People can and do learn without enjoying it. Enjoyment helps. Do we sometimes get too swayed by this 'en
Yes please
Yes, but isn't there a point where learning and change are supposed to feel difficult - if it is all enjoyable, it isn't working? Not that I'm suggesting the 'no gain without pain' idea - or am I? I've been reading Carol Dweck's recent book on self-theories that suggests we do our children (and trainees) a disfavour by praising their intelligence in an attempt to build their confidence - better to focus on their learning process and the effort they put into really understanding something.
Whoops - Do we get too swayed by this enjoyment thing?
is enjoyment not a reinforcer of behaviour that develops your confidence
Jo - I've puzzled whether we understand how we learn, and whether this is what makes things difficult
Peter, in answer to your question about risk ... I think I build confidence in the 'doing' even though the failing can be uncomfortable. and yes, I think the how of learning is what to focus on - as enjoyable but sometimes uncomfortable?
I think I would grade the enjoyment from training, as does it make me feel good that I went and spent valuable time with a person to learn from them
Jo, I dont think it's about how difficult /much effort you put in, it's about the end reult change in your behaviour when it becomes autonomic, replicable etc,.
go along with that Fred, which is why self confidence I feel has to be built up over time on solid foundations, so it is instinctive, particularily when delivering new things to others
There's something about comfort levels in a learning context. It needs to be confortable to get you engaged; then when it's safer, your confidence increases and you can take more risk.
yes, Frederick, I'm not totally comfortable with what sounds like a 'hard work' ethic, but if we reframed that as risk and challenge? doing something we haven't tried before? And maybe it depends on the purpose of the learning - for instance the sort of work I do is focused more on spontaneity and authenticity than replicability.
I agree Tim, make it a place where you are comfortable to take risks be it work, home or the classroom and people will and will grow as a result
As we're 3/4s through I'll post up 10 principles - (as I promised) I use, which you may find of help.
are we starting to say that confidence is not a fixed state but a building site?
1. Connect with everything; it is the only way you will learn what you need to survive. And once you know what you know from experience, your self confidence will grow each day.
Absolutely, Jo. And a building site with demolitions, new buildings and extensions!
Could you describe an example peter
Sorry hilary, an example for?
What you mean by connecting with everything
sorry, I've only just realised the system only put one principle in.
Thats okay
An example I use, is greeting and handshakes. Many people are hesitant to just do it.
I think there's a line lenth, Peter. You may need to do one at a time if its cut and paste.
2. Every interaction in your life, is a two-way street. You cannot DO anything to anyone, nor can they make you do anything. You are each influenced by each other.
3. Learn to fear nothing, until you?ve proved you should avoid it.
4. Have confidence in what you are trying to interest people in; whether that be yourself, a product or a service(including the job you may do for someone else).
5. Accept that some people will say no for many reasons, none of them actual objections to what you are offering.
6. If what you?re saying feels right, it?s probably OK, even if you don?t fully understand why at the time.
7. Learn to praise what others do that make you feel good or that you think they?ve done well. How else are they to know what they are doing works? And in time others will do that for you.
8. Learn to accept praise. Don?t be embarrassed. Understand they took great courage to say that. If nothing else, just say ?thank you for that? because it lets them know too, that they were right to be appreciative.
9. Be prepared and confident to change your view in the light of new learning you have arrived at.
10. Give yourself the time to learn and assimilate. Some things can take days or years to make sense. Just because you need the full understanding right now, probably means you?ll try too hard, and it will elude you for a bit longer. With practice you?ll be surprised how fast you become at ?putting things together?
Hi Beth just dwonloading some ideas on how to achieve self conficdence
thanks Peter. I think nudges like this are very useful, even though we think we might have learned them already, I think we always need reminding- and welcome Beth.
Cheers Peter, I like 9 and 10 Thanks
Jo - that I've found very important, to never assume you know something, without jsut having a quick recheck sometimes
Thank Peter - excellent ideas - especially no. 7
That great Peter. For information, everyone, this transcript will be published on the Workshop page of TrainingZone this afternoon, so you can return and clip it!
back to that old building site metaphor - work in progress!
Thank you Peter, perhaps there is something in that No 8, giving and receiving praise ?
Re. earlier 'is it a state?' posting, feels to me that confidence is less a 'state' and more a 'fluid'.
jo - like the analogy - but I also find beehives quite good as a basis
Tim - science and rigid teaching has taught us State, but in fact it is always relative to something else, hence why our moods can change even when nohing else appers to have changed
I like that fluid analogy, especially after a few drams as was mentioned earlier
So it is all about feeling goooooooooood!
I think that 10. is particularly important, as it is often the feeling of not 'knowing' enough, and feeling that you do not know as much as other people that can cause low self- confidence
Yes, I like the beehive idea, especially since it might support the idea of working, trying, sometimes struggling? to keep on learning - and part of what we're learning is always about ourselves in relation to the world. I feel like the something at a wedding, here, but might it be about feeling good even when feeling bad???
We're coming to the end of time. Can I say a big Thank You to Peter for his time and enthusiasm. I'm sorry I missed the beginning. I'll post the transcript for reference.
Peter - maybe its just about feeling and interpreting what the feelings mean - in learning outcomes
thanks everyone - look forward to reading the beginning that I missed.
Does anybody want to chat on -mail after this workshop?
It's only a STATE for the length of time that state exists, then it's another state , then another. A state( of mind, behaviour) will only last as short or lioing ass it is useful to our subconscious.
Yes, thank you everyone - I've enjoyed the discussion.
If you want other people email address, click your cursor on their name to the right - email should appear below.
Peter/Tim - Thanks Peter and thanks to Training Zone for the forum 10 out of 10
Yes All Thanks. An interesting experience and my self confidence in typing is increasing emmensely unlike my spelling
Peter , thank you for hosting my first ever on-line chat. I'm impressed.
If you want to jot any immediate thoughts, try the CPD REcord at the top of this page - it gets emailed to you!
Thanks to everyone for taking part. We're running workshop like this every Tuesday lunchtime - and we welcome offers of new topics / leaders !!!!!
I'm really glad you guys enjoyed it, it's actually the first time I've done this too!
Please finish in your own time. I'll email Peter shortly with thanks. See you all again soon, I hope.
Goodbye from sunny Inverclyde
Thanks for that, I am only sorry that I wasnt here for the start,Bye


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