Women Build Business
Confidence and Focus to Dream Big and make it happen
Confidence is Key to your success and fulfilment
Despite improvements in equality and other laws, women are still seriously under represented at senior leadership levels and management positions. Research also shows that women owned businesses often make less profits and turnover than male owned businesses – and that’s not just at the start up level.
So why are there relatively few women who reach senior leadership positions? It’s certainly not because women are less competent. It may be partly because women have a different way of thinking and working to men, and subconscious bias leads to male dominated selection boards selecting ‘people like us’. It may be partly because women value time out of the work place to bring up their children and there is still relatively little support (or cultural acceptance) for men to invest as much time out in childcare. It may be a combination of very many other reasons, but there is also something more profound.
Just think for a moment.
- Are you (or do you know) an intelligent woman who has ideas to contribute but you don’t raise your hand in meetings?
- Do you feel, despite your expertise or years of training or knowledge, that you don’t really deserve the promotion you just got, or are not necessarily the best choice? Or you are not ready to put yourself forward for that more senior position? Or you only have 4 of the required 5 capabilities they are looking for so it is not relevant for you to apply? Do you need someone else to put you forward for the position, or give you a push and show they believe in you and they see you have what it takes?
- Are you waiting for someone else to notice your capabilities, to let your work speak for itself?
- Are you passionate about what you do but feel uncomfortable asking others to support you or vote for you?
- Do you want to make things happen but feel uncomfortable or vulnerable to put your head above the parapet? Do you prefer that someone else takes the limelight and you’ll make more of a difference behind the scenes?
- You’d love to praise your colleague's contribution but the prospect of speaking in front of everyone makes you feel sick, so you mumble something but feel you haven’t done her, or the situation, justice.
- Do you know you are wholly capable, but when you speak about it you sound unsure of yourself and you can’t articulate your conviction, your capability and your passion?
- When you face a challenge, do you feel daunted or overwhelmed and wonder if you are good enough or if someone else would do it better?
- Do you feel you could do much more but something is holding you back?
That something more profound is self-doubt and a lack of self-belief. It leads to others not believing in you too - so they don't think of you when they are considering who to promote, or who to contact for the service or product they want to buy. Self-doubt leaks out through your tone of voice and body language. Listeners put far more credence on it than the actual words you say. In contrast, self-assurance is a realistic self-belief that is not over inflated, but grounded in evidence so you know your assessment of your capabilities is real. Self-assurance is the foundation for confidence. Confidence comes with accepting and managing self-doubt, feeling comfortable about being you and being able to interact appropriately with other people in various situations.
Confidence is about your mindset and it involves both knowledge and emotions. It is not only about whether you CAN DO a task, but whether you ASSESS yourself of being CAPABLE OF DOING that task. A positive assessment leads to you feeling confident which gives you fuel for action.
Confidence is knowing what you're good at, the value you provide, and acting in a way that conveys that to other people. Confidence is not about never having self-doubt, but accepting it and exploring various perspectives to test its validity. Confidence sits on a scale of how well your assessment fits with reality, with arrogance at the excess end, when you believe you are better at something than you are, and low self-esteem at the other end, which involves believing you're less capable and valuable than you are. The closer your self-assessment fits reality in the middle, and the more you behave accordingly, the more you have healthy confidence.
Confidence has a massive impact on how you enjoy life. When you feel confident you are not beset with self doubt or negative self talk. Confidence lights the spark within, so you can look people in the eye, hold your head up high, feel good about being you and feel good about what you are doing.
Confidence helps you achieve what you want in life and get where you want to be in your career and for your business. People with more confidence get more promotions, run more successful businesses and are less stressed in working at the higher level or with more responsibilities. Why should that be?
Research has shown that people are more attracted to confidence – whether that is romantically or in any relationship, in work or with friends. It is the way our brains are wired – scientists have called a certain part of the brain “mirror neurons” as they fire up in recognition of the expressions and emotions you see in other people. It means that you feel the same emotion that the person you see is feeling. That’s empathy and it means that when you are confident, you inspire a feeling of confidence in the people you are with. That's something people like and want more of, and it also means they put more credence in what you are saying. That’s just biology. You can’t beat it so work with it!
Senior leaders and business owners need to do more than doing well at achieving tasks and working well with people. They need to make decisions. Desire for perfection and being certain of always making the right decision often gets in the way of making decisions at all. Sometimes you just have to go with what you’ve got and make the best decision you can at the time. It doesn’t matter if it is right. Your team needs to know you can make a call and stick to it. That takes confidence. It also takes confidence to review the decision honestly and without blame and then make the next decision to continue or change.
Often, women believe that if we just work hard, keep our heads down, don’t cause bother and deliver results, our natural talents will shine through and we will be promoted or our business will get noticed and attract all the custom we need. Unfortunately, that usually doesn’t happen. The person who is promoted or who attracts clients projects a level of comfort with themselves, that gets them noticed and rewarded even though they are no more capable. That takes self-assurance and confidence.
In business, confidence underpins great business relationships, solid decision making and appropriate levels of risk taking. Confidence is critical for business owners to create a successful business.
When you are confident you can be yourself, assured, poised, calm, relaxed and unafraid of silence. You come across as being credible and win trust and respect. When you are confident it is easier to make decisions and feel less stress. Confidence is vital for your wellbeing and happiness. Confidence wins your job interview. Confidence wins your next contract and your next customer. Even Olympic athletes need to feel confident in themselves to win medals. In short, Confidence makes it easier to be a great leader, manager and business owner. Confidence gives you the fuel to take on the role and do it well.
So how do you be confident without having to behave in ways you would find uncomfortable – perhaps dominating conversation, interrupting others, touting your achievements, and so on. You don’t want to be seen as arrogant, too direct, promoting yourself, the bossy woman, the pushy woman, and the other derogatory titles women get when they behave in ways that are deemed confident and inspiring leadership behaviours in men. Luckily, there are ways to be quietly confident that inspire others to notice and be confident in you too.
Join the Confidence for Business Women programme and find out how to be confident in a way that suits you and is your fuel for action. Learn how to get your brain in the right frame of mind to act. We focus on confidence in business but it will also have a positive effect on your general life as well.
Confidence gives you the power to do more and to do it better.
Confidence puts the sparkle and fizz in your life.
There is always room for more authentic confidence.
- How important is confidence?
- What does confidence mean to you?
- What do you mean by changing mindset?
Have you ever wished…
- You could pitch your case better to a potential client or your boss?
- You felt more confident to stand up and talk in front of a crowd?
- You were comfortable giving and receiving feedback?
- You had more resilience to pick yourself up when you have a knockback?
- You could feel more certain you were doing the right thing and stop doubting yourself?
- You were more confident managing areas that are not your specialism?
- You could put yourself forward for a promotion?
- You could replace anxiety with calmness?
- You felt more comfortable at networking?
- You were confident going into a potentially difficult meeting?
- You had more self-assurance?
Then this programme, Confidence for Business Women is for you.
Contact Aeona today to see how our coaching or training will benefit you.
Start your journey now and call today in confidence for a no obligation chat:
Tel: 0845 6436 084
Mobile: 07738 290384
"If you only look at what is, you might never attain what could be." Anonymous