A quick refresher: John Shinnick is a Board Advisor, NLP Practitioner and qualified Coach-Mentor under EMCC. He works with CEOs and Managing Partners, helping them progress personally and professionally by giving them the tools to tackle transformative projects in their businesses.
Plus, since he was a Managing Partner for Grant Thornton for 21 years, John has immense experience managing and understanding people from a business perspective.
In this blog, we discuss:
The cause of low confidence
How to tackle it personally and within your teams
The difference between a coach, mentor and advisor?
How to read people’s real intentions and use this information to help them
Let’s get stuck in.
Why do we experience crises of confidence?
Low confidence negatively impacts our ability to communicate well with others, our performance at work and the way we tackle difficult situations.
As a leader, this isn’t good news. You need to trust yourself to make the best decisions for your people and your business. You also need the ability to help others work through their lack of self-assurance.
John Shinnick works with business leaders from all walks of life who struggle with low confidence. Through his training and vast experience working with people, he explains how the cause of low-confidence often lies within our upbringing.
We are taught from an early age how to avoid risk, from crossing the road safely to not talking to strangers. These risk-averse filters serve us well, but as we get older, they can stop us from reaching our potential.
How can we be more confident?
John doesn’t break down these barriers to help people overcome their anxieties. As he puts it: “It’s not my job, it’s theirs”.
What you need to do is learn how to explore your emotions. Simply changing your behaviours and expecting them to stick isn’t effective in the long-term. Because deep down, you still believe that these problems are a part of you.
Rather, tackling low confidence comes in stages. First, you should challenge your behaviours. For example, say “I can do this” rather than “I can’t” and act accordingly.
The second stage is changing your values and beliefs. “I can do this” changes to “I believe this is something I can continue to do” and long-term success becomes attainable.
To make it a permanent shift in thinking, you need to change a part of your identity. John gave us an example of one client who completed the couch to 5k challenge. By the end of her training, she didn’t just identify herself as ‘healthier’, she said: “I’m a runner.” By changing her identity, she redefined herself and eliminated her previous self-doubt.
Having a coach can make this process much easier. But with the understanding of why low confidence occurs and how to tackle it, you can work on becoming more confident independently.
What is the difference between a mentor, coach and advisor?
To put it in John’s words:
“Coaching is the process of helping someone use their own resources to overcome a problem.”
“Mentoring is the continuation of coaching where a person is guided through their past experiences through the use of storytelling.”
“Advising is working directly with somebody and offering advice to help them achieve their goals.”
According to John, you (or your staff) may need one source of support or all three. It depends entirely on what you want to get out of the experience.
John says that for most of his clients, the techniques he uses go up and down like a slider. This is dictated by the language he decodes during these interactions (you can find out more about how John does this in our previous blog).
How to challenge negative beliefs
There are two million bits of information hitting us every second, quotes John from the book “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two” by George Miller.
If we were to take in all that information, our minds would explode. Fortunately, we avoid this gruesome ending by filtering information down (for example, when we watch TV we block out the sound of rain, a siren going past or noisy kids playing outside to improve immersion).
However, like the way risk-aversion affects our confidence, it’s easy to lose control over the deletion of information. To the point where you’ve created a distorted reality that limits you.
To illustrate: when someone says “I’m not looking forward to this event because I don’t think it’s going to be very good” they’ve created a false reality in which the event is going to suck. But the truth is, how do you know?
By taking away deletion in these circumstances, you can challenge your choices and make better decisions that help you progress. You can also get your staff to do the same by helping them uncover their real intentions.
For example, if one of your team members tells you “I don’t fit in” or “I don’t think I should go to this meeting,” you can teach them how to challenge these negative thoughts using the above principle. This puts them in a great position to grow as they learn how to use their own resources to make better choices at work and in life.
Does this resonate with you?
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with John’s points? Have these tips been useful? Let’s take this discussion to Twitter.