I’ve shared a lot recently in blogs and newsletters about building confidence, the many faces of confidence and confidence gaps. The feedback I’ve received indicates there is a lot of interest in how to deal with a Confidence Gap. So here I’ll share some of the questions I’ve been sent.
Q1. How do you help people who are naturally quiet in meetings?
I have various techniques and strategies to help people who are naturally quiet. I normally start by finding out whether they really want to speak up. If they don’t, nothing I say, or offer will be used, so I can’t help very much!
You can know a bunch of techniques, but you won’t use them if you have a strong reason to keep quiet. Maybe you are angry with the people who dominate the meeting and that anger eats up all your energy. Maybe you need time to think so you can express your thoughts well.
So, first, I tease out the barriers with my questions. Then I can decide how best to help, which strategies or techniques to introduce.
Q2. How long does it take to build confidence?
This is an interesting question because of course it varies from person to person. I’ve worked with individuals who switched from self-doubt to confidence within one hour. Truly. For them, it was a limiting belief which was easy to turn around. And once we “flicked the switch” to change their mindset, they weren’t held back any longer.
At the other extreme, and without support, it could take years or a lifetime to build resilient self-confidence. If you wait for a change in mindset to happen, for others to praise you or for success to come your way, you could be lucky or you could wait for ever.
Of course, in between these two extremes there are lots of successes based on practice. For instance, confidence in giving presentations comes with practice. If you learn techniques then create enough opportunities on your own to practise the new behaviour, confidence in doing it will come more quickly.
I find it best to work on a change in mindset as well as practice.
Q3. What’s the difference between self-belief and confidence?
I think they are similar and sometimes exactly the same thing. Self-doubt is slightly different though – and there are various ways to work through that and build self-belief in its place.
Q4. I’m a naturally quiet person. Why should I speak up in meetings just to suit others?
There are lots of reasons for encouraging quiet people to contribute in meetings. One is that good ideas aren’t limited to the extroverts. If your ideas, as a more reserved person, are to be shared and used, then others need to hear them. Writing is less useful for this because it can be ambiguous or misinterpreted, and questions or clarification can’t happen in the moment.
Q5. I’m a confident person but sometimes I feel intimidated by the arrogant pushy style of others.
Oh, I agree! Recently I was at a meeting where I felt the same as you. As a confident articulate person myself, it was a good reminder how important it is for us extroverts to curb our enthusiasm and fluency sometimes.
In this situation, one of my personal strategies is to jot down the point I want to make because I know I’ll have forgotten it by the time there is a gap. I have several more strategies so that when I’m coaching or mentoring I can share one that fits my client’s situation.
Q6. If I book an appointment with you, what do I get?
If you book a 30-minute Confidence Strategy Conversation with me you will probably have a challenge, opportunity or decision in your mind that you want my help with. So my first step is to find out what that is. I will then help you gain clarity on your real objective and discover what barriers are unconsciously sabotaging your success. I’ll probably recommend a plan of action. This will be done using a mix of coaching, observations and tips, depending on the context and various other factors.
There is no obligation to buy anything. At the end of the conversation, if you want to work with me further, and if I see there is a match between what you’re looking for and my expertise, I’ll offer one of my programmes.
Book your own individual 30-minute Confidence Strategy Conversation with me (with my compliments) to discuss your challenges, opportunities or aspirations. You can book here or ring direct on +44 1865 436791.