Archive for April, 2015

Seeds of Confidence

April 28th, 2015


“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.’

– Christopher Robin
[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vcex_spacing size=”10px”]Confidence is a funny thing. Don’t have enough of it and you hold yourself back; too much of it and you have the potential to alienate yourself.

When you possess a healthy amount of it you feel as though you can leap tall buildings in a single bound. Nothing is impossible, too hard or too complex to tackle. Conversely when you have none, getting to the end of the day can feel like a task in itself. You feel small, insignificant and incapable.

Whilst most of us recognise self-confidence is a critical ingredient to creating ongoing success in both our careers and those of the people we lead, we spend very little time building and fostering it. Why? Because it means we have to get a little bit uncomfortable. We have to take a risk, step out and often walk into new unchartered territory. But not doing so means that we run the risk of limiting our growth and becoming way too comfortable, which is dangerous. Dangerous for ourselves, our careers, and the businesses that we lead.

At the end of last year Accenture released a report stating 51% of firms expected to grow their workforce this year, which is the highest figure since the start of the recession in 2008. With more opportunities emerging in the market place, individuals are now presented with an increased choice about whether to step up internally; step out to a new organisation or change careers altogether.

However for many people their lack of self-confidence becomes a stumbling block preventing them from reaching their potential, understanding their career choices and limiting their progression. A lack of confidence not only impacts on the ability to move forward, it impedes decision-making and performance in the here and now.[vcex_spacing size=”10px”]What is it then about some people that allow them to take risks, step outside of their comfort zone, try new things and reap the rewards of success; whilst others choose to stay with what they know, let opportunities slip by and watch others succeed?

At the heart of it is fear: Fear of failure; fear of being wrong; and fear of letting others and ourselves down. It occurs when emotional forces rather than rational ones drive your decisions. More often than not, a lack of self confidence comes from a feeling of not being in control and that your circumstances result from the actions of others.

Confidence on the other hand comes from a place of feeling in control, from a firm belief that you are in charge and responsible for what happens to you and your career. It is not that you know beyond doubt that everything you do will be a success but rather that you believe in yourself enough to try. A place where even if the outcome is not what you had expected, you will have still gained from the experience.

There is no hiding genuine self-confidence. It is demonstrated through your actions, your body language, what you say and how you say it. Take a moment to compare the behaviours associated with self-confidence in the following table and identify which thoughts and actions you recognise in yourself or those around you:[vc_single_image image=”748″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”none” title=”Confident Behaviour”]Source: Mind Tools[vcex_spacing size=”20px”]Confidence is magnetic, engaging and inspiring. So how do you build a strong yet balanced sense of self-confidence and engender it in others? The key lies in building a solid set of achievements so that it is founded on a firm appreciation of reality and a solid set of outcomes. In doing so your self-confidence is based on things that are real and that no one can take away from you or attribute to someone else.

I would encourage you to think about the following 7 tips for building your self-confidence and how you can apply them to your career and business:

  1. Build upon YOUR core foundations: Identify exactly what your core strengths, interests and areas of knowledge are. We achieve a much higher ROI when we invest our efforts in ways to improve upon our strengths and the things we are interested in rather than our weaknesses.
  2. Become comfortable with change: The prospect of change is most scary when we are too comfortable where we are. Our ability to navigate change is instrumental to our success because the more we resist it the more our confidence suffers.
  3. Chunk it down: When we chunk down the big things into achievable tasks we not only start to see how things are possible we eliminate the fear and anxiety that can so often go with putting ourselves outside of our comfort zone.
  4. Celebrate your milestones: Just as success breeds success, confidence breeds confidence. Whilst it may sound a little gratuitous to some to reward and congratulate yourself for the milestones you have achieved, it will help you build energy and enthusiasm.
  5. Don’t play the comparison game: In the words of Mark Twain ‘Comparison is the death of joy’. Not only is it damaging to your self confidence but all too often what you are comparing yourself against is inaccurate and does nothing to support you achieve your goals.
  6. Build a network of trusted confidantes: Creating a circle of influence with people that champion our efforts, challenge our thinking, allow us to fail in a judgment free environment and help us celebrate our milestones is critical to building our self confidence.
  7. Start advocating for yourself as you would for others: All too often we are great advocates for others but not for ourselves. Learning how to effectively promote your own strengths and opinions, position yourself effectively and negotiate not what you need but what you deserve is key to building both confidence and success.

Building a strong balanced sense of self-confidence is readily achievable for us all. It does require clear focus and determination to carry things through but in doing so, the benefits are limitless not only for your career and business but also in the degree of fulfillment you experience.

The question is where are you planting your seeds of confidence and are you watering the seeds or the weeds?

As always I would love to hear your thoughts below.

Margot Andersen[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”126″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”]If you would like to discuss ways to build career and leadership confidence for you or your team, please call  Margot on 0400 336 318.[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”88″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”none” link=”″]

An Authentic Space

April 15th, 2015


“Airports have seen more authentic kisses than wedding halls.  The walls of hospitals have heard more prayers than the walls of churches”

– Author unknown
Given that we spend up to 70% of our waking time engaged in work related activities – week after week and year after year – it makes sense that we strive to seek out environments that allow us to shine as our ‘whole self’. By that I mean really show up … as ’us’ and in our true colours.

Ask anyone about their experience in a great workplace, they will invariably describe an environment where they simply love what they do, enjoy the people they work with and where they trust their managers and leaders they work for. They use expressions like ‘I was simply in my zone; I was trusted to just get on with it in and deliver; We just had fun!’

If you were to ask managers and leaders about what great work environments look like, they will talk about times where they and their teams were delivering to organizational objectives and achieving success; their team members worked strongly together and where each individual gave it their all.

This doesn’t for one minute imply that everything is or was always rosy or that they had the perfect office building; systems and processes; or the most ideal customers and clients. Invariably many of these things are not obvious or in place. What it does imply though is that people were allowed to be themselves, navigate the landscape in a way that allowed them to apply new approaches, solutions and strategies; fail if necessary and get up dust themselves off and go again; contribute from their place of strength; work collaboratively and enjoy success. It allowed them to quite simply be themselves.

We have all been caught in cycles where we are simply going through the motions. Occasions such as where we attend training simply because we should; attend sales meetings or networking events where conversations are held but no connection is formed; undertaken performance reviews that never address future career growth or opportunities and really are nothing more than a tick and flick exercise to satisfy a compliance measure. In many of these scenarios we show up in body but not spirit. And for that, businesses and we as individuals are all poorer for it.

So what is it about some workplaces that allow or in fact demand the ‘real you’ to show up, engage and operate? Allow your team to really banter, disagree, strategise, fail and succeed?

In a word I think it is Freedom: Freedom to think; freedom to do and freedom to speak.

Whilst it is important to note that with freedom comes responsibility, it is also worth noting that 99% of people when they see it in genuine action would rather rise to the standard than fall underneath it.

For many employees though, finding themselves in environments where this trust is genuinely given is new territory. This is largely due to the way our workplaces have evolved. Whilst pursuing greater productivity, efficiency and compliance we have faced the movement of standardization. We have sought to remove any variations in processes and behaviours and in doing so have lost the value that individual contribution can bring.

As a result, many people now don a work persona and a life persona and never the twain shall meet. Asking people to suddenly show up as themselves requires vulnerability, trust and courage. It also requires respect, encouragement and patience. It may also mean that when these honest, transparent and bold conversations are had, there will be a period of discovery for many individuals and businesses where it will become apparent that there is a misalignment between employee and employer. Most individuals and organisations will however recongnise the importance of coming to this realization in an open manner where transitions – be it internal or external – can be managed with dignity and respect.

To build authenticity in the workplace we need to build awareness of the value it brings and capability for individuals to own it. Below are 7 tips that you may wish to consider in creating authentic environments:

  • Align Values: To embrace individual contribution and styles we need to be anchored in our values. Failing to ‘get the fit right’ is costly on all levels and for all involved.
  • Be the role model: Live it, walk it, breathe it – seek feedback; tell the truth; share knowledge and skills. In doing so, you will provide the platform and expectation for others to follow.
  • Protect the space: Guard honesty and transparency with your life – encourage freedom to think, do and speak
  • Embrace difference: Difference in styles, outlooks, and skills and create opportunities to showcase their need and value.
  • Throw away the cookie cutter: In the words of Tony Robbins ‘If you continue to do what you have always done, you will continue to get what you have always had’. For growth, innovation and competitive advantage to occur we need to continually seek out new ways of doing things whilst remaining relevant to our cause.
  • Don’t indulge or promote the game players: When we continue to give airtime to the, the ‘game-players’ and ‘self-players’ we chip away at the good work done by the greater team and devalue authenticity.
  • Get ready to learn, unlearn and re-learn: According to the saying it is pretty hard to ‘teach an old dog new tricks’ but what happens when the old tricks no longer apply? Learning how to manage and lead in a period of rapid change and innovation requires new thinking, conversations and approaches. 

When we create truly authentic environments we all reap the rewards. Businesses and individuals achieve greater success, higher levels of fulfillment and invariably discover new opportunities that continue the cycle of engagement, purpose and growth.

Each of us deserve to work in environments where our individual style, skill set and knowledge base is valued, sort after and encouraged. Where when ‘the rubber hits the road’, the environment demands that we step up and play our roles authentically and values and rewards us for doing so.

Why not ask yourself and your team today what an authentic work place looks like?

As always I would love to hear your thoughts below.

Margot Andersen[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”126″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”]If you would like to discuss ways to identify your potential, please call Margot on 0400 336.[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”88″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”none” link=”″]

The Abundance Mindset

April 1st, 2015

[vc_single_image image=”690″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”center”][vcex_spacing size=”80px”]

“Abundance is not something we acquire,
it is something we tune into” – Wayne Dyer

[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vcex_spacing size=”10px”]It is all too easy to get caught up in the world of ‘not enoughness’.  In an age where we are constantly being told that we need more, should aim for more, deliver more, earn more and want more is it any wonder that not having enough, doing enough or being enough is one of our greatest social cripplers and fears.

The real danger of this scarcity mindset is the paralyzing effect it has on us. Not only can you find yourself living in the interim moment – I am here, but when I am there everything will be bigger, brighter and better – but you can also easily fall into the trap that there won’t be enough to go round unless I fight for it. And herein lies a major issue for the way we manage our careers, our teams and our businesses.

Viewing our life and career through a scarcity lens can sabotage both your success and your progress. Scarcity people believe that there may not be enough pie to go round or that their share will be smaller than everyone else’s. Abundance people simply believe that you can make more pie.

People with a scarcity mentality tend to see the world (including the workplace) in terms of win-lose. Whilst it often is not about being malicious it manifests in negative workplace cultures and individual outlooks. People with this mindset typically hold onto knowledge, resources, people and staff with a tight reign. They find it difficult to share recognition, power or profit. They keep things close and small because they can control or influence situations with ease.

Conversely people with an abundance mentality see the world in terms of win-win. They are genuinely happy for the successes, well-being, achievements, recognition and good fortune of other people. They go out of their way to help others and contribute to their success because in doing so they believe they can all – both individually and collectively – achieve more. People with an abundance mentality operate from a strong sense of worth and security. They typically adopt a bigger outlook on life and the world and consequently generate new opportunities and possibilities.

Stephen Covey is credited with coining the term ‘Abundance Mentality’ in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. He notes that scarcity people are always comparing and competing and believes it s a sure fire recipe for unhappiness. Abundant thinkers feel rich before they become rich – and not just monetarily but in all things of value – time, relationships, attention, experience and happiness.[vcex_spacing size=”10px”]Take a moment to think about some of the attitudes and behaviours around you today:

If we want to expand our possibilities and grow our careers (and those of our people) we need to shift our thinking away from scarcity to abundance. In doing so we maximise our potential for success and fulfillment.

I believe that there are two critical strategies for developing an Abundant mindset:

  • Know your own strengths and play to them: Your talents and strengths are unique to you and nobody can take them off you or away from you. The more clarity that you have around what they are and how to best apply them, the more you can rely on them to power your career.
  • Position yourself for recognition: This is not about endless self-promotion. Rather it is about building up your portfolio of accomplishments and positioning yourself for more opportunities and achievements. To do this successfully you need to seek feedback and input from your leaders, team and mentors both from within and outside your organization.

[vcex_spacing size=”80px”][vc_single_image image=”693″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”]Scarcity separates and Abundance unites. We all want to be part of a winning game where opportunities abound, successes are shared and achievements are celebrated. Cultivating the right mindset and environment for both our teams and ourselves is what will position us all for success.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts below.

Margot Andersen[vc_single_image image=”126″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”none”]If you would like to discuss ways to help you or your team understand and embrace the abundance mindset, please call Margot on 0400 336 318.[vcex_divider style=”solid” icon_color=”#000000″ icon_size=”14px” margin_top=”20px” margin_bottom=”20px”][vc_single_image image=”88″ border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_blank” alignment=”none” link=”″]

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