Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Build Self Confidence

Often the stumbling block to achieve our goals is lack of self-confidence. Not having confidence can limit a person’s potential, career choices and progression. Ironically confidence is in the mind.  When people aren’t confident they believe they can’t achieve their dream job or haven’t the skills to move up the corporate ladder. Lack of confidence is often based on very self-critical thinking, fear of failure or from not having developed yet the right skills but expecting to have them.

Self-confidence is something we are born with and we can rebuild by evaluating our experiences in a more positive light, looking at past experiences as an opportunity to learn or at skills as something we just haven’t accomplished yet. One way of building confidence is by changing our mind set from thinking, “we can’t do something” to “we can’t do something yet.”

What we think about ourselves often appears to be fact, something we can’t actually do anything about, but these are just opinions. They are based on how we interpreted  experiences and therefore shaped beliefs about ourselves. If these experiences have been experienced as negative, the chances are that our beliefs about ourselves will be negative too, which affects our self-confidence.

Negative beliefs affect how people see their current reality, especially in the workplace, and how they ultimately progress in their career - it can limit possibilities and stop them achieving their potential.
For example if someone gets praised at work for doing a good job, people who are confident will accept the complements, but those who lack confidence may start wondering if their boss really meant it, and start to worry that they could do better.

Here are some tips on building your self-confidence:

  • Change your mind-set – focus on the positive and things you have done well not the negative. Write down one positive achievement every day, no matter how small and you will be surprised what you have achieved in a week.
  • If things haven’t gone to plan take it as an opportunity to learn from the mistakes. No one ever gets anywhere without making a few mistakes along the way.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. Many entrepreneurs have failed during their working lives and gone on to achieve great things. Think about Richard Branson. He has launched close to a 100 companies, many of which have failed. No one remembers these, only the successes.
  • Ask people you respect what they think are your greatest strengths and then find ways to use those strengths more often. Be clear about your strengths and incorporate these into your work every day.
  • Instead of thinking “I can’t” – think “I can’t yet”. Make this your mantra and say it to yourself every day.
  • Hire an  executive coach, they usually are challenging but supportive
  • Challenge yourself to try something new. Find projects and assignments that give you an opportunity to use your strengths.
  • Fear of failure often stops us doing things, turn this on its head and make a commitment to do at least one thing you fear every month. This could be making a team presentation, attending a networking function alone or learning a new business skill.
  • A lack of confidence isn’t pervasive. People need to think about other areas of their lives where they do feel confident – they may be good a cook for example or good at sport. If this confidence was channelled into the workplace then it could have a very positive impact.

For more information check

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Top Tips For Leading and Managing your Team

Do you need help managing your staff? Please find below a few tips. However if you need further training or coaching now please visit ourInspiring Potential Now page to book a coach now.
Top Tips for Managing Staff
1. Communicate your goals and vision clearly.
If your staff are unsure about what outcomes they are collectively pursuing, they will ultimately veer off course and be less effective as a unit. It is incumbent upon the manager to set the direction in clear, unambiguous terms. Soliciting input from the team will ensure a better rate of buy-in for the goals of the group. Ongoing communication and monitoring of progress is crucial.
2. Know what motivates your team members.
Never assume that you know what drives the people in your team. Some people may respond well to financial incentives such as commissions or bonuses but others may not. For some it could be more important to have some time off or a simple 'Thank You' for the good work that they do. By getting to know your team on a one to one basis you can elicit this information and set incentives accordingly
3. Develop a 'coaching' style and attitude.
By developing a coaching attitude, you will be able to empower your staff to find the answers to their own day to day challenges on the job rather than telling them to do things your way.
Employees will be more effective in the longer run if they are given the space to use their natural strengths and unique approach on the job. A 'directive' style of management will restrict the inherent potential of your team members.
4. Know how to give feedback.
If you would like a staff member to improve a certain aspect of their work, it would be helpful to remind them of the things that they do well. If you are only providing negative feedback, they will put up a wall of resistance and the message may not 'land' properly. Providing recognition and regular positive feedback is a vital part of maintaining a healthy team but this aspect is often overlooked.
5. Understand different personality types
To ensure good communication and understanding at all levels within the team, it would be useful to know more about your personality types. A useful suggestion might be to have a facilitated team building event that incorporates Myers Briggs testing. By having colleagues share their personality 'type' with each other they will get a much better understanding of how their colleagues receive and process information. This promotes much greater group awareness and understanding.

If you would like to know about specific training or coaching solutions to help improve management skills in your organisation, please contact Inspiring Potential at 0845 355 1159. 
or contact us on

Inspiring Potential comprises a team of coaches and trainers who have all had frontline corporate experience prior to working in the personal development industry.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Leaders can make or break your business

Businesses don’t fail, leaders do. Leaders that fail to recognise this and the importance of their leadership skills risk being just “average” in this competitive global economy. Effective leaders engage, motivate and inspire their workforce. They know their purpose, and how to create a shared purpose with their people. Leadership is a skill; people are not just born with it. It can be developed and enhanced through executive coaching.

Executive coaching is one of the most effective ways for people to become more successful and develop skills and emotional intelligence that will enhance their performace. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) two out of three organisations use external coaches and 92 per cent judge coaching by external practitioners to be effective.

One of the leaders I have recently worked with was extremely intelligent, ambitious, hardworking, but he was side-lined for a promotion, because he couldn't communicate effectively. Through coaching, he found out that his communication issues were linked to his shyness and trust. Once he worked through the issues with his executive coach he was promoted and became comfortable leading people. Everyone is different, that's why coaching is more effective than training. Executive coaching is specially tailored to the individual; the only agenda is the client's success.

Great leadership is not a secret, it is a skill that is developed through hard work, experience and learning.

For more information contact us on

Monday, August 05, 2013

Get Ready for September 2013

Get ready for September!

Sometimes, we feel we have worked very hard, people view us as successful, but we feel we have lost our  “mojo” - that determination and drive to succeed we used to have. We feel demotivated and a bit sluggish getting out of bed each morning.

Does this sound familiar? You may have had this feeling for a while, hoping it will go away. Usually, these feelings are highlighting that something is not quite right, and change and action are required.

What about doing something about it? Now is the time to act and take back control of your life and career.

Sometimes just getting into a different mind-set is enough, it give you the motivation again to succeed, but sometimes more drastic changes are required. Everyone is different and thinks differently. This is why executive coaching can be so effective in determining what actions to take, what direction to follow and how to look at things in new ways.

Inspiring Potential is offering a ‘summer special’, a one session of coaching so you can experience the transformative power of executive coaching without any further commitment.

Usually our coaching programmes are six months long, but in one session we can help executives get their mojo back by helping clarify their goals and identifying how to overcome any blockages to success.
For more information contact us on 0845 355 1159, or check our website

Friday, May 10, 2013

Build Confidence With Executive Coaching

Having confidence as a leader does not always come naturally, and many seek executive coaching to help address confidence issues both for themselves and for the benefit of their teams.

The Importance of Confidence in A Leadership Role

“A good leader inspires others with confidence in him; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves”. This anonymous quote sums up perfectly the need for confidence in a leadership role – having confidence in your own actions and decisions will inspire others to also feel confident about themselves. The flip side is also true, a lack of confidence from a leader will demotivate team members, driving them to question decisions, actions and responsibilities.

Without addressing deficiencies in leadership confidence levels via avenues such as executive coaching, companies can soon find employee loyalty on the ebb. This is supported by the Hillcroft House report ‘UK Management Culture of Fear’ which found that the quality of essential leadership and engagement skills necessary for a manager halved between 2008 and 2012, and also suggests that 93% of employees would strongly consider leaving their employer due to poor leadership style.

As a leader, confidence is needed in many areas. From direction setting, through to social confidence and self-confidence in one’s own levels of knowledge and competence.

Decision Making and Direction Setting

Leaders who lack confidence will generally find it harder to make decisions, and in particular they may have difficulties setting goals and a clear direction for their team. Fear of making the wrong decision can lead to no clear decision at all, or switching direction part way through a project instead of following through. This uncertainty can cause tremendous stress and morale problems within a team, and leads to poor business performance generally. Through completing an executive coaching programme, leaders will be able to communicate with a sense of mission and value, providing the strategy and the platform to allow their people to achieve results.

Social Confidence

Relationships are key to results and people often choose to support and work hard for a leader because of their personal qualities and because they feel that they have a positive connection with that person.

Leaders who are not confident about interacting with people – either generally, or with specific people – will tend to withdraw from making effective relationships with their teams. A lack of social interaction and contact can make team members feel disconnected from the leader personally, resulting in less motivation to achieve goals set by them.

And for some team members, a lack of social connection with the team leader can become a source of dislike and even antagonism, which can further undermine the leader’s authority and their confidence, leading to even more avoidance of social interaction.

During executive coaching leaders learn to motivate others by being authentic, generating trust and optimism throughout their teams.

Self Confidence

Especially for those moving to a new company or taking on a new role, leaders who feel that they don’t know enough about their job can behave apprehensively. Different processes, as well as the need to learn new products, can cause insecurity even if they are more than capable of learning what’s needed.

With coaching leaders will have the ability to recognise their strengths and what they bring to their teams, drawing on these to highlight their capabilities rather than development needs.

Steps to Improving Confidence

During a programme of executive coaching leaders will be taken personally through a journey to build their self-confidence:

1. Articulating the problem
– looking at what form the leader’s lack of confidence is taking and what problems it is causing,  providing the leader with a private space to express their doubts and map out the problem.

2. Identifying limiting beliefs underlying lack of confidence and clearing or modifying those beliefs – for example some leaders may feel that they need to continuously evaluate and self-criticise in order to succeed.

3. Working on growing self-belief and trust in their own decisions – focusing on what the leader’s strengths are, and encouraging them to trust in these in order to make decisions that they feel confident about.

4. Taking control and putting actions in place to address areas for development – this could be further self-development aimed at improving particular skills, for example public speaking or getting training in a specific area of knowledge. Or it could entail setting up mechanisms at work to address particular issues, for example if social confidence is an issue, creating opportunities for social interaction with colleagues, through team building, shared events, etc.

Benefits of Improved Confidence

As well as the personal benefits of becoming a more confident leader, allowing less self-doubt, less stress and an all-round happier working environment, confidence inspires better business performance - better goal setting and better vision – all leading to a more focused workforce, with better buy-in from the team and heightened productivity.

And investing in executive coaching does not just benefit the leader themselves. Speaking at a recent event, Dr Mark Winwood, clinical director for psychological health at AXA PPP Healthcare, said that "the two most commonly reported contributors to stress are poor line management and long working hours" and that “line managers should be coached and supported to become the best people managers they can be.” So encouraging a better management style and greater employee engagement will make teams happier, more loyal and, Hay Group figures suggest, up to 43% more productive.

Find out more about executive coaching  from Inspiring Potential and the benefits it could have for you.