What many women leader’s desire, is to be respected by their team. They want the people they supervise to listen to them, respond to them and even look up to them.
THE QUESTION IS: How do you get that level of respect?
You achieve respect from your team when you do what I’m going to challenge YOU to do daily on this week’s Facebook Live session.
LINKS from today's session
Join theCONFIDENT WOMEN LEADER'S group here
Find your GUIDE SHEET # 32 - Challenge your conduct
Find MY BOOK - Mastering Confidence: Discover your leadership potential by awakening your inner guidance system.
Have you ever thought much about your character?
I’m talking about the qualities that make you...you. Each of us has a unique set of characteristics, different from everyone else that makes us stand out. Your character can either help your leadership or hurt it. Learn what you can do today to make your character count...in a good way...in this week’s Facebook Live session.
LINKS from today's session
Join the CONFIDENT WOMEN LEADER'S group here
Find yourGUIDE SHEET # 20 - Excellence in Leadership Series
Find MY BOOK - Mastering Confidence: Discover your leadership potential by awakening your inner guidance system
Learn more aboutThe Leadership Circle Profile here
Note: This article first appeared on Charity Village
Walking into a boardroom and averting your eyes as your stomach clenches is a horrible feeling. When you are worried about what you need to say and how you will say it, you begin to agonize. The doubt creeps in. Others in the room intuitively sense your inner hesitancies. This uncertainty spells disaster.
Now paint a different picture. Imagine entering the room with poised posture. Sense within you the assurance of your abilities and certainty that you can handle what might come your way. Others may not be able to put their finger on it. However, you know they are aware of something about you. It is your confidence.
Confidence isn’t something handed to you. It is not a skill that can be taught. Confidence comes from within.
Confidence is part wise elder and part courageous warrior. Your confidence grows as you gain wisdom and then apply that understanding to experiences, events, and relationships. Self-confidence develops when you internalize the lessons and insightfully apply your learning in the future.
Years ago, I yelled at my administrative support. We were young. I’d just received a promotion into one of my first leadership positions. This lady and I went from co-workers to me supervising her. Instead of allies, we became opponents. We spent a lot of time vying to be right. Shouting at her to show me respect did much more to tarnish my reputation then it did to nurture it.
As a result of that exchange, I reprimanded myself for being inept and unprofessional. I realized if I wanted to be the leader I desired, I needed to seek mentorship. I reached out to respected leaders for insights. In doing so, I was able to address tough conversations with increasing skill.
As a leader, I courageously stepped into no end of difficult discussions. As a result, I gained confidence. It was through my applied learning and my willingness to take risks that I become more adept and bold about doing the work that needed to be done. Boldly engaging in those situations helped me to mature and strengthened our team.
Confidence grows when you further your knowledge and expose yourself to new situations. To thrive as a leader, you will need to establish habits that cultivate learning. You must challenge yourself to move beyond what is comfortable.
Establish these three are three habits to foster increased confidence.
Tackle tasks you are avoiding.
What we are skirting around is often the thing that will advance us the most. Heck yes, it may be tough. Absolutely, you may not want to do it or maybe you don't even know how to do it. But the fact that you have been dodging it is a huge clue that it is something you might want to challenge yourself with.
To identify the task you have been avoiding requires you to take a few moments each day of reflection.
Do something outside of your comfort zone daily.
We like our beloved coffee. We have a favorite pair of shoes. We take the same route to work each day. It’s comfortable. It doesn’t require thought. Routine is important. Equally imperative in growing yourself as a leader is taking risks.
The more often you leave the security of what you know, the larger your zone of comfort becomes. You didn’t know the people you worked with when you started. Over time, you’ve learned more about them and now have a relationship with them. The first time you picked up a cell phone it was strange. Now you use it every day. Learning a new task or skill requires a place of not knowing how first. But going there is where you learn.
Spend 15 minutes a day learning something new.
We are most afraid of what we don't know. It's time to change that.
Make the unknown familiar.
The greatest leaders are readers. The most impactful people have within them a wealth of knowledge. The most confident people have a storehouse of experiences, stories, and knowledge.
To increase your confidence, you will need to learn. The more you learn through courses, books and videos, the more you can tackle different situations in different ways.
Increasing your confidence requires you to gain knowledge and step outside your comfort zone. Feed the wise elder within your and cheer on the courageous warrior. Together they will develop the confidence you desire and need to become the incredible leader you were born to be.
You want to enjoy leadership more, find you are making a greater difference, feel happier and more satisfied in life and rid yourself of a bit of the daily turmoil you feel. Doesn’t that pretty much sum up what most leaders are looking for? Perhaps you also want a little more love, a smaller waistline, and an increase in your bank account. That’s not a bad list of desires.
Striving for more is a good thing. Yes, we need to be grateful for what we have, but a healthy determination to continue to grow, figure out the next challenge and navigate our way to a greater sense of peace in work and life is really the essence of aging.
New insights lead to growth
Learning from our mistakes, failures, and setbacks as well as our achievements, wins and successes happen best when we gain new information that challenges our current way of thinking and behaving. The different material assists us to find fresh ways, adjust our actions or shift our mindsets to get improved results. At other times, the insights we gain affirm we are on the right path. One way to get new ideas to challenge your assumptions, perspectives, and values is to read.
But who has time to read?
Let’s boil it down to some basic truths about leadership, learning, and life.
The Audible Secret
I discovered Audible a few years ago when I was in a program that made reading the forefront. There was no way I could find the time to fit the required reading in. I downloaded the books to Audible and listened my way through them.
What I realized was that I’ve always listened to book. From the Steven Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People cassette tapes to the David Allen time management revolution Getting Things Done CD’s boxed set. I’ve been a listener for years and years. I used to borrow audio CD’s from the library to take them on business trips so I could drive and learn. Now, I still borrow some audio books from the library, but most often, I use Audible. I think you should too!
Let me tell you why you need an Audible account and how easy it is to use.
The Audible Story
Here is what you need to know about Audible:
But how does Audible really work?
You may be wondering, if I can’t find time to read, how would I find time to listen to books. That my dear is easy! You just play it while you…..
10 times in your day when you can listen to an audiobook
Need some ideas of what books to download? Grab this guide that I made for you with my 20 favourite leadership books to listen to.
There you have it. Grab your Audible membership today. Begin listening to leadership books to grow and develop yourself, a financial book to help you increase your bank account, healthy living authors who will share their wisdom about weight loss and of course, one particular leadership coach who give you a system to Master your Confidence. That way, you will move from surviving to thriving in both your leadership and your life!
Regardless of our title: supervisor, leader, boss, director, manager, team lead...there are times when you should be managing your employees and team...and times when you should be leading them. But how do you know the difference and when to do which?
Find out on this FB live session!
LINKS from today's session
Join me in THE TRAINING ROOM
Find your GUIDE SHEET - Leadership Training Needs:
Join the CONFIDENT WOMEN LEADER'S Group here
Find MY BOOK - Mastering Confidence: Discover your leadership potential by awakening your inner guidance system
Feb 8 - FREE WEBINAR: With Charity Village - Inspire Your Staff To Reach Their Full Potential
With your busy schedule you may have read or watched some of these, but missed others. Perhaps you are looking to catch up, are curious or just eager to grow. Either way, I've got you covered.
These are the top blogs, videos and guide sheets from this year.
Top Blogs of 2017
Discover your leadership potential by awakening your inner guidance system
The solution for “I hate my life”
You can feel a surge of confidence now. Learn this proven technique.
Competence & Courage and the Connection to Confidence
If you are tired of hating your job, read this
Top Guide Sheets of 2017
7 days of journal prompt to help you examine your life
Grab your 3 steps to increasing your awareness of your Mind Chatter
Discover how gritty you are and how to increase your grittiness
Use this guide to Intentionally decide who you are at your best and create the plan to be that person.
Excellence in Leadership Series - Summary
Top FB Live Sessions of 2017
If you are in the middle of something and it’s hitting you big time, you’d probably rather not be at work. The dread of this particular challenge is dragging you down. You feel it in your body, and you hear within as your thoughts, that echo around the common theme, “I can’t handle this anymore!”
You are feeling incompetent, overwhelmed and perhaps, fear that your credibility is slipping.
What if I told you, you can instead, feel more confident right now? In this article, you will learn the one question to ask yourself to remove that self-doubt and instantly feel surer of yourself.
If there were such a thing as a Leadership Doctor, they’d diagnose you with failing confidence. The one telltale sign, without the blood work or body scan, would be your negative mind chatter. The doctor could tell what the issue was, as soon as you mentioned to them that your thoughts were full of:
What do you think about yourself?
Confidence is what you tell yourself. Nothing more. If you think you can, you can. If you believe it’s possible, you’ll figure out a way to make it happen. If you trust you will handle it, you’ll handle it. Confidence is a belief in your abilities, of your potential and of your faith that you can learn or figure it out. Confidence is an inner game.
Are you worried about what others think about you?
Where many women get stuck is that they wait for something to happen, someone else to do something, say something or offer them a better option. If you doubt, hesitate, hold back, or find you are afraid to say something, it could be because you want the go-ahead from someone else.
Their opinion won’t make you feel more confident
Sadly, most women leaders rarely hear words of encouragement like that from their boss, their board chair and probably even rarer still from their employees or colleagues. Praise, accolades or encouragement just don’t show up. But here’s the funny thing…even if it did, it still wouldn't make you feel any more confident. Because it doesn’t matter what they think, it only matters what you think!
Your confidence rises or falls based on what you think about your capabilities
You become more confident when you shift your inner dialogue. When your thoughts rotate around reflections about what you can do, instead of what you can’t, your confidence rises. To feel increased confidence, work to have these kinds of thoughts yourself:
To feel more confident, tame your inner dialogue
To be a confident leader, you need to be the encouraging voice inside of your head. Instead of the negative mind chatter, you need to:
Tame your inner dialogue
Confidence is what you think you can do. The challenge is most of our thoughts are unconscious. Learning to change your inner dialogue takes time. It helps when you develop a system for checking in frequently with your thoughts and adjusting them as necessary.
The proven technique: Install a system to help you manage your thoughts
A system that helps you to pause your thinking and checking in with your thoughts is the first step. Once you pause, take a moment to ponder. Ask yourself if your current thoughts are moving you towards the feeling and outcome you desire. You may find as you reflect that your thoughts are keeping you stuck in feeling incompetent, overwhelmed and lacking creditability.
Ask yourself this question to instantly feel more confident
If your thoughts are negative, focused on what’s not working or circling around who needs to say or do something before you can feel sure, try asking this question.
To feel more confident right now, what do I need to be thinking?
The act of pivoting your thoughts to the future, to confidence instead of lacking confidence changes how you feel.
When you shift your thoughts, you proceed forward with increased feelings of confidence. You once again feel more capable, because you are thinking about all the experience you have, what you’ve done before and how much you believe in your project.
When you manage your thoughts, you feel more confident
You can overcome self-doubt and feel a surge of confidence by following the system to regain control of your thinking. Every time you are struggling, or you hit a wall, come back to pausing. Stop long enough to reflect (ponder). Ask yourself: To feel more confident right now, what do I need to be thinking? Shift your thoughts (pivot), and take the next action step forward (proceed).
2 Immediate Boosts of Confidence
Sometimes though you need an immediate boost of confidence to handle a tricky situation. You can find 2 immediate confidence boosts here to get you through today’s challenge.
Your problem: You ain’t happy!
You’re struggling. Some days are worse than others. You want a way out of the mess. You want to feel more capable of doing your job and more content in life. But, the big question is, how do you discover that?
The solution: You just don’t know, and it’s frustrating!
Perhaps one of the options you’ve considered is coaching. But, you really don’t get what coaching is; you don’t understand it, or you aren’t sure what it’s all about. So, you’ve hesitated to take the next step.
Let me try to clear the fog for you.
What coaching is not:
Coaching isn’t therapy or counseling. Both of those may be something that can benefit you as well, either on their own or in conjunction with coaching, but they are different. I am neither a counselor nor a therapist, so I am proving you a description of what they offer from the International Coaching Federation (ICF): Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction, and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual's emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways.
What is coaching?
So what is coaching then? Coaching is a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires you to maximize your personal and professional potential. When I am coaching you, I am asking you a lot of questions. I get you thinking, usually, in ways, you haven’t been thinking on your own! You have probably been stuck in a rut, regurgitating the same thoughts over and over. OMG, I don’t know what to do! I can’t figure this out. I just want to enjoy my life!
Coaching is not advice, it's questions
Most often the questions I ask are pointing you forward. As a coach, I use curiosity to help you to explore things that you probably already know, but have either avoided, overlooked or are afraid to take on. I might ask you What if you could figure it out, where would you start? I could ask you to describe me what your life might look like after you've achieved joy, happiness or contentment. That helps you get more precise about actions you need to take, because not everyone is looking for the same thing. Maybe you want to be home at least 3 nights each week to make supper, but someone else wants two vacations south each year. Another lady might focus on being able to deal with her workload or be better at growing a cohesive team. Coaching helps you to see your challenges with a new perspective AND create a plan to navigate all the roadblocks between you and your future, step-by-step.
The benefits of hiring a coach
As a coach, I am helping you to reach your full potential both in at work and in your life. Part of that full potential might be that you become more productive or have better time management. You might develop better relationships with your employees or peers. Through coaching, you and your organization could achieve better results. You may find a better balance between work and life or achieve a higher state of health, which subsequently allows you more joy in life.
Coaching will give you confidence
When you work with me, I’ll help you to feel more confident, and the result is you’ll get out of survival mode, which so many of us live in and you’ll move to thriving in both your leadership and life.
Here is what your peers say about coaching?
Don’t take my word for it. This is what some of the women I have coached, have said about their coaching experience and the difference it's made in their life:
How to hire a coach
You may be even more curious now about coaching and are thinking about trying coaching out. To look for a Coach, you can begin with a search on the Internet. There is a multitude of coaching sites available for you to consider. If you have a friend who is using a coach, you may ask that friend for a referral.
You might be concerned about finding a qualified coach, even if you don’t quite know what that means. The best place to ensure you are getting a certified Coach is to use the referral service that the ICF provides. There you will find a list of credentialed coaches to meet your needs.
What are you looking for in a coach?
Finding the right Coach is like finding a pair of shoes that fit really well. Looking pretty is nice, but it’s not going to help you if you are on your feet all day. Your Coach is going to help you get over some of the hills in front of you. You’ll want to find one that feels supportive, encouraging and who will push you a bit to achieve your full potential. Take the time to find the right coach. It will be worth it for both your career and your happiness.
3 Questions to ask a Potential Coach (and 3 more CRITICAL ones you should be asking)
As with anything else you are purchasing, you should do your homework before hiring a Coach. Be sure to ask the following three questions:
Hiring a Coach is serious business!
Ask these 3 critical questions to make sure you get the right Coach for you!
Are you ready to sample coaching?
Before you dive in, most coaches offer a complimentary session. This session lets you get a feel for the Coach's style and helps you determine if this partnership might work for you. If you’d like to sample my coaching, you can book a complimentary 30-minute session with me here. With a complimentary session, you will get the opportunity to get a feel for coaching. You can ask me any questions you’d like that will help you to either understand coaching better or see if you and I might make a good team helping you as you move to thriving in both your leadership and your life!
Leadership could be summed up by saying personal growth.
OMG, think of all the things you’ve learned since you started supervising, managing or leading. I’m not talking about spreadsheets, reports, and contracts. You have learned soooo much about yourself, what makes people tick, unwritten rules of meetings and when to speak and when to hold your tongue.
The learning twist in leadership positions
When you advance into a leadership position, you suddenly must understand more than the mechanics of the job. You are no longer concerned with the intricacies of frontline work. You now have to discover how to get people to work together, how to motivate them and how to navigate the ongoing drama between co-workers. Now that everyone’s eyes are always on you, you need to figure out how to be calm and composed even when you feel like freaking out, falling apart or running away.
That learning for you is all personal growth.
A different kind of learning is required
As you work to develop your leadership skills and competencies, much of what you are doing requires you to look inside of you.
How to fit the learning in
The question is how the heck do you do that in the midst of your busy schedule? Most leaders don’t have the time or the luxury to go back to school in the middle of their career.
The truth is, the most effective, influential and successful leaders have added learning in by becoming voracious readers.
Yes, they read books. Lots of books.
On a regular basis, you will find leaders reading on an airplane, in their office, before they go to bed or first thing in the morning. They put reading into their schedule and make it a part of their life.
Leaders are learners
Leaders are readers
3 ways to add reading to your already busy schedule
More about Audible Memberships
You are probably wondering what Audible is. Audible is an Amazon company that provides the audio version of books. Audible is a monthly subscription service that allows you to listen to audiobooks at a highly discounted cost. You can download books right to your phone, tablet, or computer.
Each month you’re given one credit, which you can use to buy any item in their catalog regardless of their respective cost, rating, or length. The membership costs you $14.99 Canadian each month. You can end your subscription at any time, so really there is no risk! And, your first book is free!
Learn More About AUDIBLE Here
What should you read?
To help you out I wanted to give you a sneak peek into my library. If you want to know what I’ve been reading and rereading grab this guide and get my 20 favorite leadership books. In it, you will find the Audible links to each of the books starting with my very first suggestion Mastering Confidence. When you use this link to Audible, you will get it for free!
You can also purchase books on iTunes. Here’s the Mastering Confidence Link to the iTunes version.
Leaders are Readers
Remember, leaders are learners. Most leaders find the best way to learn is by reading books. Leaders are readers. Figure out how to add minimally 10 minutes of reading to your days and see your leadership success, impact and enjoyment skyrocket!
Get your first Audible book free here!
"Just get me through today, please!"
Does that sound like a well-known plea, that you mutter often?
Here are some variations that may sound familiar to you also:
The Surviving to Thriving Continuum
Sadly, far too many leaders regularly recite similar lines like "Just get me through today! Regardless of the version each of these mantras is a red flag signalling that you might be in survival mode. We’ve all been there at some point or another. Survival mode becomes a problem when you live there, rather than visit there.
There will always be busy times. Leaders are constantly involved in the ebb and flow of new projects, shifts in contractual expectations, and annual cycles of budgets, performance reviews and grant proposals or contract renewals. It’s the job. There is no way around it.
I am not talking so much about work, as the attitude towards the work and the impact, the work has on you. The effect on you falls on a continuum. Let’s first look at opposite ends of the gamut.
Survival mode is characterized by fear. You are always afraid of falling apart, dropping the ball or losing it. You are barely hanging on, just getting by or trying to stay alive.
In survival mode, it feels like everything is a battle and you must suffer through it or endure the storm. You have little energy, are pretty negative or openly apathetic. Perhaps you’ve found yourself muttering “Whatever!” a little too commonly.
Those in survival mode tend to feel isolated and alone. It doesn’t feel like anyone cares about you or that you have anyone on your team. In fact, it often seems like “they” are out to get you. When I was survival mode, I honestly hated a few people and loathed a couple of others.
This end of the spectrum, survival, is marked by crisis management, putting out fires and only a day-to-day sustainability. Lord knows you can’t last like this forever. Burnout is knocking on your door.
The thriving mode, on the right end of the continuum, is characterized by passion. You are growing and developing and loving it, despite the challenges. To many, it is an adventure with a purpose. You are blooming and flourishing as you learn new things and take on engaging projects.
Those in thriving mode tend to feel confident, courageous and resilient. It isn’t that people at this end of the continuum don’t encounter challenges; they just know they can handle it. When I moved up into the thriving mode, I was eager to go to work, felt like I was doing meaningful work and could say I was being stretched, but not to the point of snapping.
This end of the spectrum, thriving, is marked by feelings of being engaged, supported and connected. Leaders in thriving mode feel like they belong to a larger community of support and feel that they are making a positive impact through their work.
It’s usually not black or white
Rarely are any of us completely at one end of the spectrum. We are likely at some point in between. We also ebb and flow daily. Depending on where you are, whom you are interacting with and the day's agenda, you can shoot from one end of the continuum to the other pretty quickly. As such, most of us sit somewhere along the surviving to thriving continuum, moving around various points in the middle.
The Middle – Coping Mode
In the center of the surviving to thriving continuum is what I call coping mode. You are doing more than barely getting by, but you're not feeling so alive that you want to yell from the mountaintops about how much you love your job. Instead, you go to work and have some good days, lots of so-so days and a few insane days.
The coping mode can also be thought of as maintaining. You're doing good enough, the best you can or at least less than bad. You exist.
Some leaders are bored in the middle. There is not a challenge, no pull or drive to fully use your skills and talents. Often it’s a sign you have been in the same position for longer than you should have been.
I find that in this coping mode, many leaders are tolerating, settling or complying with less than stellar workplace environments, teams, and bosses. Things aren’t good, but they are not so bad that you feel urged to rock the boat.
When I was in coping mode, I felt emotionally flatlined. I didn't feel a lot of excitement or joy. Instead, it felt more like I was running around the same hamster wheel day-after-day. I had a few friends to connect with that would let me vent (i.e., bitch and moan) but not a ton of support to move the needle forward.
Coping mode runs the range from short-term stability, meaning you could go on like this for a few months, to a way of life. Sadly many leaders believe, this is just the way it is, and don’t think they can change it. So instead of a period before things move one way or the other, leaders stay in coping mode, for most of their careers.
Watch here for more details about the points along the continuum:
Moving from survival to thriving
The truth is you can move from surviving to coping to thriving at work and in life. You have a choice. You do not have to stay stuck in your current mode forever. For you to move forward along the continuum, there are three key things you need to do.
Watch here to learn how to move along the continuum and create your Thriving Target:
Current habits keep you stuck
You’ve likely been sitting at the edge of survival mode for quite a while. You know it well. It’s become a way of life. You have developed damaging habits to cope with lack of sleep, missed meals, and limited time for self and family. You know how to get the critical things done with a hectic schedule at the office and have a system in place for ensuring you meet everyone’s basic needs. These habits are keeping you in this mode.
Be gentle but insistent as you develop new habits
To move to the right, to thriving, you will need to develop new habits. Take the time to look at both who your real self is and your ideal self. Then, create a plan to move from where you are, to where you want to be…then, get your butt in gear, my dear!
Get support here
I’m always here to help you and guide you whenever you need a little motivation, inspiration or resources. Join the Confident Women Leader’s private Facebook group for daily connections and information. I’ll see you on the inside!
Available on Amazon
Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.