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Gormley, Vertigo, Confidence, San Gimignano

One of the key building blocks of my coaching practice is, of course, Inner Game work.

Whilst I often find myself working through organisational issues, workplace relationship difficulties or market challenges with players (i.e. coachees), the same people are just as likely to be getting in their own way.

Other players are predominantly grappling with fear and doubt, whether they realise it or not, and we certainly know that those are two of the biggest obstacles to people realising their true potential. It is clear to me that helping people reach a state of “flow” is a crucial element of Inner Game work with a player.

The ever-insightful Daniel Goleman made the following remark: “ Flow is a state of self-forgetfulness, the opposite of rumination & worry. People in Flow exhibit a masterly control of what they are dong, their responses perfectly attuned to the changing demands of the task.” So if by task we mean ‘career objectives’ we are onto something when we work to stop people getting in their own way.

Layer in elements of Psychosynthesis, as a specific example one’s own or other people’s expectations, and we are really starting to grapple with significant interference in coaching terms. “They expect me to make it to the top”. “I always thought I’d advance more quickly”. Thoughts which can only interfere – or so it seems to me.

I notice this with various players. It manifests itself as an absence of confidence. A lack of confidence in people who are already successful. So what’s happening?

Well too few people realise that the ability to be confidence lies in their own hands. Confidence can be a learnt behaviour. One study out there even suggests that as much as 60% of how we feel or act can be attributed to learnt skills.

So, given the frequency with which I am noticing lack of confidence as an element of my players’ work, I decided it might be a good idea to develop a specific coaching “product” based on increasing confidence. I thought I might share some of it with you and would love to know what you think:

As a starting point a not particularly original comment. But one worth repeating:

We cannot control life – including life at work – but we can decide consciously how we react to it.

From this I have developed a dozen or so specific areas where people might choose to focus in order to build more confidence. Not a methodology. And only to be used as suggestions once the player has exhausted his/her own options.

I hope it’s something which can further equip me to be at my best in helping a player work through their own agenda.

Each has a variety of sub-sections and thus, in total, there is far too much for a blog. So as a taster here are three of the dozen ideas:

Take more risks: confident people take risks. And confidence grows as one realises that taking risks can pay dividends. So by modelling confidence the player can breed confidence and make it ingrained behaviour.

Challenge the Inner Voice: work with the player to reframe their thoughts when they are being negative. So it isn’t “ Oh no the client said ‘No’ which makes me a bad person”. It becomes “Oh well the client said ‘No’ this time. I know we are better than the competitor and I will keep trying to develop the relationship with this client. I will learn from this”.

Model someone you admire: a classic coaching technique. You see them as confident so what is it that makes them confident? How do you know they actually are? What do you notice? What would you like to emulate? How will you know when you have? Which are the first steps you are going to take? When? How will we know when you have done it? What will be different?

There is much more where that came from – but I risk boring you so here I will stop.

But let me know if you’d like to discuss further. I’m easy to find.