As a Corporate and Executive Coach specialising in coaching lawyers, I note with interest how clients’ words and tone on occasion betray an under- confidence not immediately associated with the profession. I encourage them to look at habits and behaviours formed over time and examine whether these help or hinder their own levels of personal confidence, and ask “Would adopting a different approach effect a different, more positive and confident, outcome?”
Tips that I share with them apply equally across the board:
1. Be careful what you tell yourself as you are listening
From time to time, we’re all tempted to listen to negative internal chatter. Be aware, however, that the longer you focus on the negatives, the more likely you are to bring them into sharper focus and negatively affect your own confidence thereby. A good example of this is last Christmas, asking my 3 (under 5) children to help hand out pre-dinner nibbles, I learnt by experience better not to have said: “Don’t spill it.” What’s the last thing they heard? “Spill it.” As night followed day, they spilt. Instead, when I encouraged them to “Take it through confidently.” Guess what? They did.
2. Be aware of the words you use
Do you use positive or negative language? If the latter, consider how you can re-frame your language in a more strong and positive way. This, in turn, will have a positive effect on your levels of confidence.
For example: “There’s nothing I can do.” Use “Let’s look at our alternatives” instead. “I need to…” do some work/ go to the gym could be replaced with “I choose to…” Instead of “If only I could…” secure a regular client base, how about “I will”…?
3. Confidence Breeds Confidence
As a criminal barrister with over 19 years experience, I have learnt how to develop my “game face.” It’s so important when representing people anxious about the likely outcome of their case to instil in them confidence that they are in a safe pair of hands. Whilst ever you might have your own internal chatter going on, how important it is for you to manage your own state to give the appearance of external control and confidence. It takes work, and by working on your own thoughts and words (as above), you can develop your game face until it becomes second nature
For more blogs from Nikki, or for more information about Nikki Alderson Coaching check out her website.