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9 Ways to Build your Self Confidence

9 Ways to Build your Self Confidence

Confidence is something we can all have a challenge with at times.  Here are some tips to help you build your self-confidence.

1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others 

One of the most effective self-confidence building techniques that will immediately improve your confidence is to stop comparing yourself to others. This is trouble and in reality, you only see a small slice of how that person really is. Everyone, thinks, feels, learns and sees things differently. You are the only person on this planet with your ability and the possibilities in you and the way you do things will be endless and different to everybody else, no two fingerprints are the same. Remember that!

When you compare yourself to other people you tend to compare yourself to the one person who you believe has it best in life. This is definitely not a good way to assess yourself. Instead worry about what it takes to be someone that you like yourself. It is amazing how much happier people who like themselves are than people who do not.

2. Always Make Eye Contact

Most people are incredibly afraid of how other people will judge them. By making eye contact you tell yourself that you are worthy, unafraid, and confident. You also send the same message to the other person/people that you are talking to.

A little trick I find that works is to look between other people’s eyebrows in the centre of their head, this is less intimidating for you as you are not looking directly into their eyes but from where they are standing it looks like you actually are. Just make sure you are not staring too hard and are not too up close and personal as this may intimidate the person you are conversing with.

At first many people have to force themselves to make eye contact for quite some time before it becomes a habit. However, you will find that once you get into a habit of making good eye contact you will naturally feel more confident in all situations and scenarios.

3. Exercise & Healthy Eating

Appearance is the number one cause for low self-esteem around the world. Improving your physical appearance can do wonders for your confidence. Exercising often is the best way to make yourself both feel better and look better.

Exercise of any kind will release endorphins which are chemicals released by the brain during exercise that enhances that feel good mood and sends a pleasurable feeling through your body. Exercising on a regular basis will improve anyone’s physical appearance and subsequently their self-confidence. You feel good, you smile more. You smile more, you feel more confident.

Do know, that 70% of weight loss starts with what and how much you are eating, so find a diet that works for you and implement an exercise routine that you are happy with. Just make sure it is a routine you enjoy otherwise your fitness regime will be short lived and you will see little to no improvement.

4. Dress Sharp

Have you ever heard the saying “when you look good, you feel good”? There is a lot of truth to that old saying. When you dress sharp it has a positive physiological effect resulting in improved interactions with other people. You will also feel changes in the way that you carry yourself, which enhances your level of comfort in everyday situations.

Dressing sharp is an easy and immediate way to increase your confidence. This has been studied and proven to be very effective in immediately increasing confidence levels.

5. Compliment Others Often

Get in the mindset of thinking positive. This will allow you to see the good in people and compliment them on their strong points. So how is this going to help boost your self-esteem? Well, when you compliment others you will see the happiness in them which will then make you happy, and also you are ten times more likely to get a sincere compliment in return if you give someone a compliment (not that that is the sole reason you are doing it). A compliment reinforces people’s awareness of their strong points and builds confidence.

6. Help Those Less Fortunate

Research shows that helping those less fortunate is one of the most empowering feelings in the world. Those who do community service often have incredibly high self-esteem, self-confidence, and a much more positive outlook on life.

The empowering feeling of helping others builds self confidence in yourself and helps you to realise that you are able to make an impact in this world.

Tony Robbins said it best – “The secret of living is giving.”

7. Face Your Fears and Don’t Fear Failure

Fear is a huge reason for low levels of confidence in millions of people. Our fears have incredible control over us and affect the way we feel about ourselves. When we fear something we feel weak which is the same as not feeling confident. In order to overcome this, you have to face your fears in life. Do not avoid the things that you are incredibly afraid of – spend some time facing your fears (rather than running from them) so you are able to understand why you have these fears and then make plans to overcome them.

Learn to never fear failure. Everyone in life fails numerous times. A couple of failures will not define your life. The way you respond to these failures is what defines you. Use the Action Learning Cycle to help you reflect and learn on what you are doing so you can make plans to repeat what is working or fix what hasn’t worked.

8. Carry ‘Confidence’ With You

Carry it with you, just not on your shoulders. Now what I mean by this is you should not look like you are trying to be confident and stressing about how you come across.

There are a number of ways that you can exude confidence physically and here are a few:

  • Speak clearly and with a reasonable volume
  • Be conscious of your posture
  • Avoid crossing your arms as this can be seen as being defensive
  • Use your hands to explain things, this helps to create a more vivid picture of your explanations

9. Fake It, Til You Make It

We have all heard this term used before, but it is very applicable when it comes to self-confidence.

If you find yourself in a situation where you feel vulnerable and not very confident, this is the time to switch on your ‘fake it to make it’ mindset. Use the characteristics of confident people and apply them to your immediate situation. Look for a role model – someone you look at as a confident and charismatic person, whether it be a character, a friend, a colleague or someone that you have felt comfortable around before.

These will become habits of your own within time and will definitely pay off.

So good luck with becoming more confident and just wait and see how it will help you to create greater happiness and achieve what you were destined to achieve!

 

4 Tips for introducing change at work

4 Tips for introducing change at work

Here are some tips to help with the challenge of implementing change in your workplace.

Tip 1

  • Don’t assume others will see the changes the same way you do
  • Ask others how they see things. Listen and attempt to understand how they feel

Tip 2

  • In changing times people often just want to go back to the way things were
  • To minimise the impact, change things in small steps

Tip 3

  • We often rely only on ourselves – limiting our choices
  • Talk to others, watch and see how they are making the change work for them

Tip 4

  • When changes are hard to spot people get frustrated and are more likely to halt progress
  • Tell people as much as you can about the change – keep them informed regularly
Small Business Foundations for Growth Program

Small Business Foundations for Growth Program

SeeChange has developed a small affordable program specifically tailored for small businesses to help them to create change in the way they do business so they can grow successfully.

This program has come about from working with small business owners and seeing their common concerns:

  • Business owners working longer and longer hours meaning time away from family
  • Conflict amongst business owners/leaders about where they they should be focussing their time, energy and money
  • A lack of a shared direction and long-term strategy for the business
  • Information, thoughts and projects kept in the heads of each of the business owners and these not being shared or aligned
  • Reactive decisions and poor problem solving that ends up wasting time and money and creates re‑work
  • And due to all of the above, staff are not engaged as well as they could be. They are unclear about the business direction and purpose which negatively impacts on their motivation, initiative and, in some cases, on their customers

We have experienced many times businesses that grow quickly initially and then because they haven’t got a solid foundation, they flounder. Without a shared, solid foundation growth is not sustainable in the longer term.

Spending four days together with SeeChange Consulting can change all that.

By spending one day a month over 4 months you will have the opportunity to begin the journey of gaining clarity and focussing the energy and efforts of the business leaders/owners to create successful growth.

The Small Business Foundations for Growth Program focusses on helping business owners/leaders to:

  • clarify what the business is really about (Purpose and Values) which aids business decision making, staff engagement and customer interaction
  • develop a shared direction for the business – creating clarity, alignment and consistency which will lead to greater likelihood of success for the business
  • clarify key priorities and projects that need to be implemented to reach the business’ goals
  • engage staff with what the business is really about, sharing the standards that must be met and the customer service that is required, which all results in more motivated staff who are an asset to the business

Watch this short video case study of Seilers Livestock Transport based in Kingaroy and hear about the results they have gained as a result of working on their foundation – it has changed not only their business, but their lives as well.

Who resists change the most?

Who resists change the most?

The results are in – which group resists change the most?

In 2017, 1778 participants from 85 countries took part in Prosci’s 2017 Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking study. Maria and I contributed to this 2017 study. Previously there have been 9 studies completed which forms the largest body of knowledge related to managing the people side of change.

Here is a result from this 2017 research that does not surprise me – we see it often!!!

Most resistant group

Participants in the study identified the groups/levels from within their organisation as to where the most resistance came from in relation to the change initiative.

Middle Managers were identified as the most resistant group by 43% of the participants, followed by Senior Managers at 16% and Executives and Directors at 11%.

Add them together and that’s a massive 70% of resistance coming from the middle & upwards in the organisation.

I often hear employees cop the blame for not changing! The research respondents said that 25% of resistance came from frontline employees. That’s not much at all really compared to management.

To round the numbers up, there was 6% resistance from the group entitled ’Other.’

Would this research match your experiences?

So what can we take from this research?

My take is that when you are planning to execute a project/change initiative in your organisation, it is vital that you invest considerable time and effort in dealing with potential resistance in the management ranks. If 70% of the resistance is coming from these leaders in your organisation, what chance has the change got in being executed and implemented?! Employees are likely to follow the lead of their leader.

If all levels of management don’t advocate for the change and become sponsors of the change, your project is doomed!

What action can you take?

Here are 4 key actions I suggest you utilise to ensure your change is a success:

  1. Take your time and develop a strategy of how you are going to tackle your change initiative overall. Don’t dive into action, set timelines with little consideration, send blanket emails and plough through. People need time to understand and adjust. So plan, plan, plan!
  2. Resistance comes from lack of awareness. Spend time developing communication points to share with all levels of management to engage them in the change. Provide information on:
  • Why are we changing – what is the business case?
  • Why change now?
  • Implications if we don’t change
  • For specific Managers explain what this change means for them -‘What’s in this for me’ (WIIFM)

And don’t just send this in an email and think it’s done. Return to these points in meetings and presentations. Keep the messages consistently coming.

  1. Managers need to feel they will be supported through this change. That means supported to support their people. You need to develop communication channels, support mechanisms, coaching sessions to spend time with your managers, training in skills such as coaching and resistance management. A fear of being left isolated with no support to deal with employees will drive the resistance even more – especially for middle managers. You need to reduce that fear.
  2. Spend time with individuals. Have one on one conversations with each of your managers. Listen to them and understand where they are coming from. Change happens one individual at a time. Do not use the excuse that you don’t have time to spend with each of your managers individually. Provide specific information to them and try to uncover or at least anticipate the resistance from each manager.

Organisations don’t change. People do. Change doesn’t happen overnight because we are asking individuals to change. The key is we need to get each individual across the line. Spending time doing this will save you time in the long run.

And by taking that approach, you will see change in your organisation.

To be honest, with research results like this (which many people say to me doesn’t surprise them), I really don’t get why organisations don’t spend more time and money investing in their middle managers. They are the key to the execution of any strategy in your organisation!

Love to hear your experiences on this. What’s your take?

I wish to acknowledge Prosci – Best Practices in Change Management – Prosci Benchmarking report – 2018 edition for their research.

What’s the problem with planning?

What’s the problem with planning?

What’s the problem with planning?

Planning would be one of the greatest tools to help you as an individual, team and business achieve strategy, kick goals, serve your customers and create a happy work environment. And that’s just to name a few benefits of planning.

There is a problem with a lack of planning out there in the business world. It never ceases to amaze us, and we constantly question why it is done poorly.

We have our theories as to why planning does not receive the attention it should. It could be:

  • It’s not natural for some people to plan – they prefer to ‘wing it and see how we go.’ They also may see planning as restrictive and not allowing flexibility
  • Some view planning as not working hard. There could be a view that sitting around and talking about the task or project is not as important as doing it!
  • We are so busy and getting everything done in a day, week or month is a struggle, let alone adding planning time to the equation. Planning is just viewed as another thing that consumes time
  • People haven’t had good experiences with planning or know how to do it well

There could be many more reasons, but what it boils down to is seeing the value of planning – how it can help you.

Planning can have a huge impact on your success. The trouble is that people aren’t realising what the lack of planning is costing them – in time, conflict, frustrated customers, unproductive team members and the quality of the outcome you are producing.

Here is a list of 7 key business areas that planning helps with:

  1. Teamwork – Taking the time to sit and define the task, generate ideas, select the best option and determining who is doing what results in a collective approach to a project. It engages team members.
  2. Communication – Consulting the team on how to approach something brings clarity to the task. Once this is clear, further planning helps with everyone understanding who is doing what and by when.
  3. Reducing rework and wastage of time – Ever been in a situation where you just jumped into action to get the project or job done? Without thinking things through you may not have come up with the best plan of attack and found yourself running around doing things that aren’t the best option. This results in things taking longer because you haven’t thought it through. Classic waste of time! Then you need to start again or re-visit things which takes more time again.
  4. Reducing conflict – With limited planning, team members cross over each other by doubling up which results in frustration and then conflict. This can also create confusion for people such as your customers.
  5. Working smarter not harder – Limited planning can result in lots of running around, people being reactive and making mistakes. Time spent at the front planning helps you choose the most effective option in relation to a logical approach. We love the saying ’80% planning 20% doing.’ Planning at the front conserves energy and allows smooth execution.
  6. A quality outcome – Rushing into action means you haven’t considered options. Taking a little bit of time to understand the task at hand and the outcomes and/or to determine the goal, helps you to then think through the alternatives and determine the best option to meet that outcomes. This approach is guaranteed to give a lot better outcome than a rushed decision on the run.
  7. Risk Management – Planning helps to consider where things could go wrong and develop contingencies.

Planning is an absolute must. We just don’t see enough of it! Think about it. If you refer to any great achievements in life, sport, the arts, business – I bet it didn’t just happen by chance, good luck or with limited planning. There would have been a robust plan to chart the direction and to guide the actions of the individuals and team members.

Here is a final comment about the impact of planning by our client Amanda Kenafake:

‘When approaching projects and trying to change things in our business, we used to take a ‘let’s just do it’ approach.’ We used to struggle with planning even when we first started working with SeeChange, but they have helped us to break those habits. Stop and Plan!

When you stop and think about how much time you actually waste by having a go at something, it’s not working, you go back and revisit – you waste so much time.

Thanks to SeeChange, to this day it’s now normal for us to say ‘Let’s just stop, action learn, aim and go again.’ Whilst at the time it can seem like it is going to be a longer process, the full implementation, buy in and engagement of the change happened much faster than you expect. You are actually saving time”

Amanda Kenfake
CEO, Power Tynan, Toowoomba

Seven secrets for supervisors

Seven secrets for supervisors

Seven secrets for supervisors

As a supervisor it’s important to focus on what you are really there to do. We believe the three key aspects of a supervisor’s role are to supervise specific ‘jobs’, the project in total and the team dynamics.

In the work place supervision doesn’t just mean ‘keeping an eye on them’ to ensure they do it right! As the supervisor you are the leader. You are the one who is there to motivate, inspire, and clarify, as well as to ensure the goals of the project are achieved – on time and on budget.

Ideally, the majority of your day should be spent doing these things, however at times the pressure from superiors can drag us into other commitments or the need to ‘do your own work’.

Many supervisors can be guilty of saying, “Half the day is gone and I haven’t done anything else except deal with people issues.”

We have two responses to this statement:

  1. That is what you are paid to do – to spend time with and ‘lead’ and support your people
  2. If you are spending valuable time ‘putting out fires’ and dealing with things that could be avoided, maybe you have a deeper issue, for example a lack of procedures, or a lack of training for the team

Here are seven secrets that will assist you with becoming an even more effective supervisor:

  1. Be available – ensure you make time for your team. Try to ‘catch up’ with each of them formally or informally every fortnight. We have a favourite saying “You can’t have presence if you are not present.” Your team needs to feel that you are approachable but also you need to make time to support, mentor and coach staff to ensure the ‘job at hand’ is getting done appropriately. After all, if you aren’t around the achievement of goals may not be getting completed and this is where you will be kept accountable by your supervisor and/or customers.
  2. Learn to delegate – you can’t do everything. You need to have faith in your people and give appropriate tasks to certain team members. This helps with not only getting the job done but also with their professional development. If your own ‘to do list’ is too long, maybe you need to get some help from your team.
  3. Keep people accountable – running an effective team and achieving goals relies on you keeping people accountable. Keeping people accountable means investigating poor behaviour, checking to see if people have met milestones and timelines and taking action if they haven’t, and it can even be about asking people how they are spending their time. Keeping people accountable can also uncover areas where more support, training or time spent with you is required.
  4. Develop consistency – this means ensuring that you treat team members in a consistent way, keeping them all accountable, having regular meetings, developing appropriate forms of communication and supporting the team to adhere to procedures. Consistency is what your customers, both internally and externally are seeking. Developing these aspects will eventually save you time as you won’t need to spend time on re-work (going over something you have already done to correct it).
  5. Encourages tolerance – help your team to appreciate the differences amongst one another and find ways to best utilise that difference with regards to achieving your goals.   Encouraging a culture of tolerance will help you in your allocation of tasks. If people tolerate each other, this increases their ability to work better together, and this in turn reduces the time spent on addressing team conflict
  6. Model the way – remember the saying, ‘monkey see, monkey do’? Your staff watch every action, reaction and interaction you have. The way you act and react will set the tone for the culture of your team. Align your behaviour to the organisation’s values and set standards for professionalism and the achievement of outcomes. Be careful of what you say in front of your team. It’s not appropriate to talk about other team members, leaders or issues in a way that is negative, gossip or defaming decisions or the organisation.
  7. Demonstrate perseverance – no one follows a quitter! Often things don’t work out the way we plan or things can take a little longer than we first thought. Sometimes the plan we make isn’t the best. It’s important to be able to step back, review and keep going to reach the outcome. The last thing your team needs is a leader who gives up easily or just ‘throws in the towel ‘. The best way to persevere is to reflect on what is happening, identify key causes or learnings and then make a new or adjusted plan. Getting there in the end after you have persevered is very rewarding.

How well do you rate as a supervisor/leader on these seven areas?

You will notice these seven tips are all linked to personal qualities. That is what leadership is about – relating to people and utilising your personal qualities to motivate and inspire others to achieve. Some of these qualities you may have, and others you can develop. Seek feedback from a trusted source as to how you are performing and then work on your areas of weakness – it’s all about continuous improvement.