Interview With Women’s Champion & Chairman Of The Board At 32 – Maggie Georgopoulos

Interview With Women’s Champion & Chairman Of The Board At 32 – Maggie Georgopoulos

CB007 - Live Interview With Maggie Georgopoulos Chairman Of The Board At 32

I’ve just finished up a great interview with Maggie Georgopoulos, chairman of the board  in a male dominated industry at age 32, author of the upcoming title “Up The Ladder In A Skirt” and a women’s champion who has directly impacted the career choices and progress of over 10,000 women in over 32 countries around the world.

In this special extended edition podcast you can hear some great things she had to say about confidence, authenticity, diversity, building leadership teams and more.

And, she made a special offer to all listeners, free access to her online course that will help you climb the rungs of the corporate ladder.  Grab access now and reserve a copy of her great new book at www.UpTheLadderInASkirt.com

Go grab your headphones and listen now - enjoy! (And don’t forget to download the transcript for future reference - the link’s below)

Or:

Click To Read Show Transcript Now

CBOO7 - Extended Edition | Interview With Maggie Georgopoulus

Stuart:
Okay, Welcome everybody to another exciting episode of Confidence Bytes. My name’s stuart and today I’m honoured to be joined by Maggie Georgopoulos.
Maggie, hello, welcome, thank you for being here and before you say anything else, please don’t crucify me if I made a mistake with the pronunciation of your name.

Maggie:
No, you actually got it right and I’m, you know, feeling really honoured to actually be a part of this so thank you very much for talking to me.

Stuart:
So, I can see in the background you’ve got some rain on the windows and your voice, your voice is from Australia. (both laugh) So where are you now?

Maggie:
I’m sitting in my flat in Glasgow, erm, you know, as my accent dictates I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia but - erm - I’m here with my partner, Tom, who’s originally from the Highlands and, yeah, unfortunately for us Glasgow’s decided to put on it’s finest rainy weather.
Erm, it’s a bit of a shame because it’s been very sunny for the last couple of months so...

Stuart:
Well, it keeps it green doesn’t is?

Maggie:
Yep, Oh yeah. And it keeps it clean and beautiful.

Stuart:
Yeah. OK, let me just read out your Bio because you have quite an interesting Bio - erm - it’s actually on the computer so I can see it on the screen - I’m clever (laughs) so:
Maggie is the Leading Global authority on career development for women in male dominated industries and author of the upcoming book, Up the Ladder in a Skirt, which is hailed as the book for women in challenging roles globally.
A mechanical engineer who climbed to the top of the leadership ladder by age 32, Maggie was the executive chairman of a large agricultural company, responsible for the 75% increase in the retention of staff through career development pathways.
Maggie is a sought after consultant in oil and gas, agriculture, manufacturing and automotive industries.
Having achieved goals such as being the youngest member of the plastics pioneers education initiative which went into companies such as Monsanto and Nylex. She has directly imperacted... sorry, directly impacted the career choices and progress of over 10,000 women in over 32 countries around the world.
With a deep commitment to diversity and well-being she is an ambassador for sustainable career development for women the world over.
And that’s pretty impressive that is, it’s pretty impressive. So well done, congratulations for that.

Maggie:
(Laughs) Thank you.
Sometimes it’s difficult to go “That’s not me!” (Both laugh)

Stuart:
Well, it’s on paper, it’s on video so it may well be...

Maggie:
It’s me yes, it’s me.

Stuart:
So, you know, you’ve got this interesting book, the title’s very catchy. When will we be able to pick the book up?

Maggie:
Urm, according to my publisher it’ll be printed at the start of November which I’m really, really excited about.
And between now and then you’ll be able to get a downloadable version of it - umm - on my website.

Stuart:
Okay.

Maggie:
You can pre-purchase it and the Kindle edition of it should be coming out between now and November as well.

Stuart:
Okay, it’s going to be coming soon.

Maggie:
Yup.

Stuart:
I’m really looking forward to that it sounds like an interesting book, you know, the title’s very catchy.

Maggie:
I’m really looking forward to it as well. It’s been a... an interesting journey for me writing the book, let alone it coming out so I suppose with all the effort and all the hurdles that I’ve had to go through and all the blocks I’ve had to deal with in order to get it out I really want to see it in print as well just to say “YES! I did do it!”

(Both laugh)

Stuart:
You did do it.
Well, I mean, I’m sure you’re going to feel even more excited when it comes out and as I say you’ve had a wonderful career - erm, you know, you started off in the corporate world and now you work for yourself.
What made you switch, you know, because it’s quite a big change isn’t it?

Maggie:
Yeah, And, and it’s not really as simple as a, just a decision to switch because in all honesty if it fit my lifestyle I’d probably still work in corporate which I suppose is part of the reason my passion is to work with businesses and corporates in order to help them retain their female talent.
Ummm, but I got to the position of executive chairman of the board at a large agricultural company in Australia which you read out in my Bio, and I took 12months off in order to lead up a large not for profit which is called Junior Chamber International. It’s in over a hundred different countries around the world.
And as part of that I travelled around Australia and around the world, I went into communities helped, you know, young people in their twenties and thirties to organise projects to help grow communities, to help sustain communities. I got to - um - see communities in countries like Bangladesh - umm - where, you know, they were working with, you know, poorer communities, to help them step out of poverty to help empower young girls and women to further their education.
And when I came time to the point it was time to go back to being in my corporate role I found it really difficult to step back in.
Oooops - a technical issue stopped the recording so we had to switch to a back up method.

Stuart:
I don’t know what happened.

Maggie:
Okay.
So where do you want me to start from? (Laugh)

Stuart:
Errrmmm...
Start from... you know, you were filling the resume in I think would be better.

Maggie:
Yes, Yeah OK...
So, you know, I got to the stage where I had to put my CV together and I was really struggling with it and I realised that it wasn’t... what, what had happened is, even though I was extremely successful at what I did, you know, I was executive chairman of the board, all male board, I won a scholarship to the Australian company directors course, I sat on a government advisory committee and two other advisory boards but it wasn’t my success.

Stuart:
Um hum.

Maggie:
I’d done what everyone had said, you know, this is what you should do, you know, when you’re at school and they go “Oh, you’re really good at that, you should do ‘this’.”
So I just did it. And I did really well at it so I continued doing it and I continued to do really well at... but what I realised having taken a year off and working in communities and, and working with projects to help empower people and in particular empower young people and empower women and girls, I realised that what I really wanted to do wasn’t what I was doing so I decided to basically throw it all in and I sold up my house and hopped on an aeroplane.
And initially what I did is for about the first twelve months I travelled, I volunteered in various places while I was travelling, I also just visited places. I did things like hike the Inca trail, you know, just the sort of stuff you go out and do - it’s good. (laughter)
And then, I kind of thought about what I could do, so I wanted to continue travelling and I wanted to keep working in communities that had access - didn’t have access to the sort of things we have access to in Australia and the UK so I started picking up short term contracts.
So I had the business shell - umm - sitting there so I decided to use it. So I’d do contracts either in teaching or in human resources or err, you know, contract building process - ummm - process line specialisation, you know, things that I had my qualifications and experience in.
And in between those I would do things like, I would volunteer in orphanages in South Korea or in Africa. I worked with, you know, women in communities in Tanzania to help build up micro businesses.
And I just travelled around and did those sort of things and I did that for most of the last eleven years.

Stuart:
Okay.

Maggie:
So I kind of flipped short term contracts with volunteering and then I met my partner. (laugh) And...

Stuart:
So how did you find the courage to do all these things on your own, I mean, that’s...

Maggie:
It’s a funny thing because people talk about it being courage and to me it was just something that, you know, seemed really exciting so why not?
And, it’s a modern world, we’ve got the access to it. It’s hopping on an aeroplane and, and, you know, just heading off somewhere. And I didn’t see myself as being on my own, I, you know, felt that whenever I arrived somewhere I usually landed into a community or something, you know, of people that I could work with.
One of the other advantages I had in many places, not all of them, in some of the more obscure places the contacts weren’t there, but because I’d been involved with JCI, and as I said, they’re in over a hundred and six countries around the world, I had contacts in most countries when I landed so even if I hadn’t met the people there was somebody there I could...

Stuart:
...you could talk to, yes.

Maggie:
I’d send an email and say ‘Hey, I’m arriving in Dar Es Salaam. Could you show me around? It’d be nice to get, you know, the local side of things before I head off, you know...’

Stuart:
But even, even though you say you don’t see it as courage, it is a quite courageous thing and it does take a lot of confidence to trust that these people are going to be there for you...
I mean, I can remember when I first came to China, it’s a similar situation. I was met at the airport at Guangzhou by a guy I’d never seen before who’s got my ticket to my final destination...

(Maggie giggles, yes)

Stuart:
There’s this guy there, he can’t speak a word of English, he’s got a little sign saying “Mr Elliott” so I said “Yes, that’s me.” and he said: “Come, come, come...” and off we go, you know.
And you just trust, and you just believe it’s going to happen and it does...

Maggie:
Yeah, yes, and I suppose there is a level of confidence in it because - umm - I just believed and trusted implicitly that it’d be ok. And that’s not to say it’s been perfect, I’ve had my moments in my travels where it’s been an absolute disaster and I’ve just sat there and gone “What am I doing?”
But...

Stuart
(Laughs)

But that’s part of the job isn’t it?

Maggie:
But, at the end of the day, all of the great things that have come out of what I’ve done have been worth doing it which is, I think, where I get the confidence to just step off and go ‘Do you know what? It’ll be OK.’

Stuart:
Yeah, I think it’s that belief that it will be OK that makes the difference doesn’t it?

Maggie:
Yes

Stuart:
Because you’re not thinking of the negative things, you’re thinking of “Okay, it’s going to work...somehow I’ll find a way for it to work.”

Maggie:
Well, and to me it’s much better to focus on the positive things. I mean, I have my moments, I’m human...

Stuart:
We all do yeah.

Maggie:
And I sit there and I’ll go “Oh my god, I could’ve been... you know, xyz, if I hadn’t have gone and done...”
And, by the same token I wouldn’t have the experiences that I have. I wouldn’t be the person that I am and I wouldn’t be where I am right now so I wouldn’t undo any of what I’ve done but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments where I go “phewww...”

Stuart:
No, I mean, I mean, I’m in the same situation, I lived in Africa for eighteen years and now I’m in China I’ve been for thirteen years, it’s not every day perfect, there’s many things that crop up but it helps you to grow and you know, to be honest with you...
If you’d have stayed back where you were you’d have had your moments as well.

Maggie:
Yes

Stuart:
It doesn’t matter where you are does it? The moments will come, it’s how you feel about yourself and are able to just handle whatever comes at you or have the belief that you can handle it that’s the important thing.

Maggie:
Yeah.
I mean, I had those moments when I was working in my career in Australia. I, I would wake up some mornings and go “I can’t believe I’m actually, you know, an executive chairman of the board, I mean, you know, I’m a kid... Well, I suppose at 32 you are and you aren’t but you know what, in a lot of ways I still was you know, I was still relatively wet behind the ears.
And there were days when I was doing the plastic pioneers stuff where I really was like “How have I managed to get here?” You know, here I am a little thirty something year old woman in a team of men and most of them are like in their fifties and sixties, they’ve got thirty, forty years experience within these industries and there’s me.
So there are days where you sit there and go, you know, “How did I get here? And who am I to be here?” But at the end of the day...

Stuart:
You have to pinch yourself to see if it’s real... laughs

Maggie: Yeah, yeah.
At the end of the day to me, you know, the confidence comes from the belief that: “Do you know what? It’s OK. If I wasn’t supposed to be here I wouldn’t be here.” So I make the most of being here and see where it goes.

Stuart:
So what advice would you give to women who, you know, maybe they’re feeling that they’re lost in their life, that their job’s taking up too much of their time, it’s not giving them the satisfaction that they expected it to. Ummm, what advice would you give to them?

Maggie:
The first advice I’d always give is to go straight to... back to basics, you know, “Who are you?”
And when I say ‘Who are you?’ it’s not, you know, “Hi, I’m Maggie, I’m a female, I’m abou... approximately five foot ten...” you know, all that sort of stuff, no. It’s like: “Who are you deep down inside.” you know, “Start to think about the things that make you happy,” you know, “Why do these things make you happy?”, “What can you do in order to, to have this as the key part of your life?”
I look at it from the perspective of what was going on when I was trying to decide what to do all those years ago. What I realised is I am very good at leadership stuff but what wasn’t making me happy was being in a corporate, you know, banging my head against the wall in different places, effectively, and not really helping others. I realised that, that what really made me happy was being able to go out there and make a difference.

Stuart:
Um humm.

Maggie:
So I focussed on that and looked for what I could do in order to make that happen. And it’s the same, you know, with careers because, quite often your career might make you happy, it’s just the workplace you’re in that might be wrong. Or the workplace might be great but the career choice you’ve suddenly made may not be right.
Which means that it might be a question of seeing whether or not you can talk to your company about changing your path within the company or you’re looking at potentially stepping out and doing something else...

Stuart:
That reminds me of a philosophy of Sir Richard Branson, you know from Virgin he... before he, he... if he has a problem with any staff member the first thing he decides is “Are they in the right position for their skill-set?”
And it could be that their, you know, they’ve got this wonderful skill-set but it’s not being utilised and you put them in a different position and ‘whoomph’, everything comes to, you know, to light again.
So I think that’s a wonderful thing to actually do.

Maggie:
No, it is. And it’s a critical error that we make across the board, whether it’s, you know, volunteer organisations, businesses... quite often in our day to day life we spend so much time trying to conform to an ideal that somebody else has given us that we often forget that each individual person’s different and it’s OK to be different and it’s OK to play to your strengths.
You know, at times... not wanting to go down the path of bashing the education system, but one of the fundamental issues that I have with the education system is that we don’t allow children to move into their strengths. We spend so much time focussing on what they don’t do well, and so little time focussing on what they do well that when we become adults our mindset’s such that it’s all about what we’re doing wrong instead of what we do well.

Stuart:
Yes, it’s focussed on the negative, isn’t it?
You know, and that brings back the memories of, you get your exercise book back. It’s got all these red lines in it. It’s got all these red crosses in it... There’s nothing good.
And you look at it and you put so much effort into it and you feel down because, you know, it didn’t work.

Maggie:
Yeah.

Stuart:
And this is the attitude we take into adult life, always looking on negatives. I mean, I always say to people “Can you tell me a hundred good things about yourself?” Ten... maybe fifteen... maybe twenty... but that’s about it, that’s finished.
If I ask them for a hundred bad things... Oh, no problem, de, de, de, de, de, they just roll off the tongue like anything...

(Both laugh)

Maggie:
We’re awfully good at figuring out what we don’t do well. (Laugh)

Stuart:
And this is instilled in us in the education at a young age and that’s really a terrible thing in many ways isn’t it?

Maggie:
Yeah. And it’s not just from that, you know, we get the message from our parents, from our peers, from everything, you know, it comes from, you know, the way people are rewarded so, you know, you know, you’ve got kids that are rewarded for being really, really active and sporty and then you’ve got other kids who may be academic and they’re not necessarily getting rewarded in the same way.
So once again they’re getting this, this picture...

Stuart:
Or they’re getting laughed at.

Maggie:
...not meaning the right thing.
Fortunately that has changed a lot these days, it’s not quite so black and white as it was back...

Stuart:
No, but it’s still got a way to go...

Maggie:
And it’s just building that up and it’s trying to shift that mindset as adults because getting to adulthood, once again we focus on our weaknesses: “I need to improve my management.” or “I need to improve - umm - the way I communicate with people.”...
What I actually need to do is own the fact that I communicate with people in a certain way because that’s my personality or my time management is a certain way because that’s my personality and get myself to be a part of a team where I can play to my strengths and somebody else as part of that team will help, you know, keep the other things in line because their strength is time management or their strength is communication.
So it’s a matter of building that team and working. And if you can get yourself into that and learn how to communicate in your language so that other people can then, you know, hear and understand what it is your saying, we tend to do so much better and we tend to feel so much more confident within ourselves.

Stuart:
Yeah, and, and the key word there is the strengths isn’t it? Because most people don’t focus on strengths, they focus on weaknesses... as, you know, we’ve just spoken about, you know, that’s a really bad thing.
And, you know, there’s always room for improvement it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, there are some things that we’re not suited to do. For instance, I’m very good at starting things - but I’m not a very good finisher...

Maggie:
Ahh, I can relate to that...

Stuart:
So I need to get someone to help me, you know, to finish. I can get the ideas, I can get the projects moving but bringing them to completion, I get bored.

Maggie:
Yes...

Stuart:
So I need help there...

Maggie:
And that comes back to that personality thing. And I mean, if you want to use a really good example on that, Richard Branson who you spoke about earlier is a prime example of that sort of person, and depending on which type of personality thing or whatever you want to use - um - Roger Hamilton talks about Dynamo and Richard Branson is one.
He’s a starter, he’s an ideas man, he’s the sort of person that builds great teams around him in order to make things happen then moves on to the next idea because he’s never going to complete it.

Stuart:
No, he’s got the skills to build the team hasn’t he?

Maggie:
Yeah, but look at what Richard Branson has. There is not a person in the world that will say that that man is a failure. Yet if he had stayed in a box that said he had to complete every project that he started he would be a failure.

Stuart:
Yeah.

Maggie:
Right. So that in itself is, I think is a very good example of how it works. You wouldn’t put Branson & Warren Buffet... they’re two very different personalities yet both extremely successful men, And the same, look at women, look at Hilary Clinton versus Michelle Obama, they’re both extremely strong women, both extremely powerful, both have very different personalities and ways of going around and doing things but it doesn’t make either one any less successful than the other.

Stuart:
No.
No, no, and again it’s that understanding your strengths and recognising and getting the help you need to bolster the parts you’re not so good at. I won’t use the word weaknesses because I don’t see them as weaknesses...

Maggie:
Right...

Stuart:
It’s just not suited to you.

Maggie:
And it’s much better to play to our strengths.

Stuart:
It is.

Maggie:
You end up feeling much more satisfied and you, you gain that confidence that then helps you move forward, you know. And I suppose that comes back to my mum’s description of me as a ledge jumper. I’ll step off a ledge and trust that I’m going to land safely. Part of that comes from the fact that, you know, when I’ve played to my strengths things have worked and that’s the way I’ve...

Stuart
And when it works it gives you confidence to carry on and to do something more, to do something...

Maggie:
Start again (laughs)

Stuart:
And if you look back on success then that builds confidence doesn’t it? Because, you know, if you look back on, on failure you say “Well I’m no use.” but if you look back on success, and it doesn’t matter how big the success is... it can be a small success, it could be that you set your alarm to get up at five o’clock tis morning because you had something to do and you got up and you did it.
That’s a success... and the more you focus on that the more you become, you become stronger and become more inclined to do that. It’s a wonderful philosophy.

Maggie:
Right - I, I like it. I live by it. Both laugh.

Stuart:
I have another question which I wrote down here - erm - it’s quite an interesting question.
What would you say, because you told me you were in a mastermind group, and some of the members were saying to you: “You need to become more feminine” or become something along those lines.
What would you say to people, you know, who think that women have to be all soft and fluffy, and I’m not saying this in a derogatory way...

Maggie:
No.

Stuart:
Because, as you mentioned there are different personalities, you know, it’s about owning yourself, it’s about being authentic isn’t it?
Maggie:
Yup.
Erm - What I would say to that is you need to understand that all of us have masculine and feminine in us and particularly, you know, if you look at the Eastern philosophies, the Yin and Yang... now some of us tend to, the majority of females have an outward appearance of what is feminine qualities but some of us have an outward appearance of what is very masculine qualities.
And if you look into things like your Myers Briggs and the personalities on that, 75% of females have the ‘feeling logic’ which means that they look at things from the perspective of logic based in people and things that affect people, right. And that doesn’t mean that they’re ‘touchy, feely, cuddly’ it just means that they look at their logic that way.
Only 25% of women have the ‘thinking logic’ which tends to be associated more with men, and that’s that looking at things more from the perspective of logic based in things.
So for example, if I was to look at the breakdown of something in a business, that was going to affect the overall run of the business and the people I would often forget to think about the people because I would look at it in logic terms of cash flow in the business and how that all works. And I would often come across as being very masculine in my approach because I can be quite abrupt in what say.
I can often forget about how people might feel and that’s not to say that I don’t think about that anymore because I’ve stepped out and done a lot more community based stuff I now think that way a little bit more but it’s not my natural preference.
So if I’m under pressure or stress I will default to, you know, that people are just part of the resources, their feelings aren’t important.

Stuart:
Yeah.

Maggie:
And it seems a very masculine feeling and I’ve had people at stages, might say, you know, “You’re just one of the boys.” and “You behave like a bloke.” or stuff like that and it’s like, I’m not stepping into a masculine energy in order to be like the men, I’m stepping into my energy and it just happens to have a slightly stronger element of masculine in it as society sees it and what is considered to be the norm for a female.
Having said that, I always wear dresses because that’s something that I like so I always have an outward appearance of being very feminine. But it is actually quite difficult because when you look at, you know, the female role models that are out there, so you look at the way they constantly look at us and go: “Oh my god, look at what she’s wearing.” or “Oh, no, she’s being really masculine she needs to be softer and more feminine.”
You know what? Some women just aren’t soft and fluffy and that’s just the nature of the beast, and there are some men out there that are extremely soft and fluffy. I mean, I would never at any stage say that my partner is not 100% man but in all honesty he has more of the feminine outward appearances than I do, you know, so, and that’s just, you know, because of natural preferences. It’s got nothing to do with our gender it’s to do with what happens up here. (points to head)

Stuart:
Yeah, and, and quite often as people because of society and because of many things we don’t take the time to look past the appearance...

Maggie:
No.

Stuart:
And that becomes a big problem. You look at somebody who’s in a suit, you think ‘this’, you don’t see past it... this could be the biggest crook in the world but because he’s got a suit on you get that impression that he’s honest and trustworthy straight away.

Maggie:
No he’s not (laughs)

Stuart:
Well, generally, generally speaking...

Maggie:
Yeah. No, it is, it does come down to that. We have stereotypically put, you know, women into these roles of, you know, you’re the carer, you’re the more caring and, to be honest, women as a collective do tend to lead differently than men do. They tend to use a far more collaborative style and once again, because of the stereotypes around leadership we suddenly see that as not being a strength, we see that as being a... you know, you know, that naughty word, a, a weakness.
And it’s not. It is a different style of leading and there are men out there that do the collaborative really well and there are women out there that do the competitive really well.
What we need to do is try to open up our minds to the fact that it’s not just about the gender its about our personality types, our preferences how we prefer to do things and we need to open up businesses and community organisations and things so that they are more diverse in the types of personalities you’ve got on your boards or running your organisations.
And that can still mean an all female or an all male management team or senior leadership team but you want diversity in that team, you want people that have each of the elements that help balance it out and make it work even better.

Stuart:
So, do, do you think when people just talk about diversity their, their thinking is more about more women, more women, or equal gender - not gender, race and everything else. Do you think it should be more about a diversity of personalities so we’ve got the balance of personalities rather than the stereotypes?

Maggie:
Yep.
I honestly believe it needs to be more about personalities and it’s an interesting thing I come up against because quite often when I’m talking to, in particular, senior males within business and I start talking about diversity their backs kind of go up and they’re like that, “Oh whoa here comes this ‘more women on boards’ thing, blah, blah, blah.” and I’m like ‘Stop!’
Yes, I would like to see more women on boards.
And I would like to see more women on boards because I believe that there are so many women out there that can do so much to help and they’re not being...

Stuart:
I agree, yes.

Maggie:
However, when I’m talking about diversity on boards I’m talking about a diversity of personalities. And I think it’s something we need to look at. Yes, within that you will end up with that mix of women, and races, and cultures and all the rest of it and that will grow it even further.
Because, you know, where we grow up and the influences, the social influences we have on us affect our personalities as well. But having that more diverse personality make up within the actual leadership team will make a huge difference to how the organisation is run because, for starters you’ll open up the lines of communication better because each personality types communicate differently.
And quite often, you know, I might be sitting there as someone who is quite extroverted and bubbly and bouncy and an idea will fire out and I’ll just throw it at someone and I’ll bounce off and I expect them to be behind me and then realise that I’ve actually left them still sitting in their seats while I’ve run off type thing.
My communication style’s very different to somebody who’s far more deliberate about what they do, who likes to see every step and when I fire a piece of information out and bounce off they don’t necessarily understand what I’ve just said because I haven’t spoken their language.
What I need to do is fire the piece of information off, stop, ask the question “What do you need to know in order to make this happen?” okay. They can ask the questions about the steps that they need and rather than getting frustrated that ‘Oh my god, they don’t see it already, why can’t they see it?’ I need to understand that not everybody can just see the big picture like I do. Some people need to have it coloured-in in order to see what it looks like.

Stuart:
Yeah. I mean, and that understanding is very important because we all think in different ways don’t we? And this has got nothing to do with gender or race or anything, it’s just the way we are as people.

Maggie:
Yes.

Stuart”
And similarly with language, some people can think in pictures, some people need to think in sounds and some people need to think in feelings, there’s so many different ways we do that and we have to understand that when we’re communicating with people...

Maggie:
Yep.

Stuart:
And that’s where I think is where the diversity should be focussed on and not... I mean, when I lived in South Africa, just after Nelson Mandela came to power there was this big thing on women and race and they were promoting people left, right and centre and half the people had no skills to put where they were put. They were totally out of their depth, but because they fit the picture of diversity that was needed they were being, really, put under unfair pressure and not every one of them reacted very well to it and that is wrong.
I think there needs to be a much wider - erm - deeper understanding of what diversity means.

Maggie:
Yes, and we really need to get a balance in it because it is something that’s going to take time and there will be times when we appear that we’re being unfair because, on the surface it’ll appear that the board or team or whatever that’s been put together is not very diverse because they will coincidentally be all white females or all white males or all whatever, but that’s not what it’s about. It’ll be that there is this really good rounding of personalities so that they can actually work together from, you know, the big picture all the way through to the finest detail which means that the project can get started and finished, not just started and then kind of stressfully dragged across the finished line because the person who starts it is not the sort of person that finishes it. I mean without someone...

Stuart:
It often doesn’t, that’s why I’m laughing because it does happen so often.

Maggie:
Oh, yeah.
It’s because we tend to fill teams with people that are like us and I’m not saying as in gender or race or culture, I’m talking personality. Without even thinking about it, when we’re talking to people and we have people who’re, who have the same sort of preferences we do we suddenly feel more comfortable with them, we feel like we’re speaking the same language, we feel like they ‘get us’ and we want to work with that.
And what we fail to understand is, yes, it’ll be great to work with that but if I‘ve got a complete team of me’s - Oh god that’ll be a disaster! (laughs)

Stuart:
It’s limiting, very limiting isn’t it?

Maggie:
Yeah.

Stuart:
Because there’s nobody thinking outside of your, er, tunnel for want of a better word, you know, so we need that to be explored.
I’m just looking at the time here, we are getting a little late in the day but you’ve been giving us some great information so I don’t mind running a few seconds longer but I just want to make sure that, you know, you said you had an offer - erm - something to give to the listeners and to the viewers, I wanted to give you time to be able to mention that, you know.

Maggie:
Yep.
I have an online course that fits to my book ‘Up The Ladder In A Skirt’ and basically it looks at the initial rung of developing leadership and building your own success. Effectively it’s a six module course but you can do it in your own time and it will be going live online within the next month so people can sign up for it and I’ll give them links then you can actually do it in your own time.
It takes you through some modules and exercises which take you through the basic rung. Some of it is understanding yourself, understanding your personality type, understanding how you communicate and work in a teams, you know, making sure that you’re looking after your own health and well-being and looking after your mental health they’re the basic, five basic rungs, and then looking at the start of that sixth platform which is stepping into leadership and what that actually looks like.

Stuart:
OK
And could you just mention how they can sign up and I’ll put the show notes out, I’ll write it down in there with a link for the people.

Maggie:
I have a link on my website which is www.UpTheLadderInASkirt.com and I’ll actually send that through to you so that you can put that up for people to see as well. And if you just go through that...

Stuart:
What is the link called?

Maggie:
Pardon, UpTheLadderInASkirt.com

Stuart:
That’s the website: UpTheLadderInASkirt.com and the link on it, you said, what’s the link?

Maggie:
It’ll land you on the links to sign up for the course.

Stuart:
Okay, so it’s very straightforward, people just go to UpTheLadderInASkirt.com hit the link, then fill in their details then they’ve got the full free course.
You know, I like the way course starts because if you don’t start to know yourself and you don’t understand yourself how can you ever expect to understand anybody else, you know, it’s a very valid point. And then the other point of the course I like is looking after yourself.
Because you’re the number one person, if you don’t look after yourself how can you perform, how can you look after other people.

Maggie:
Yeah, yes, and I think it’s extremely important and I’ve unfortunately learned the hard way... (laughs)

Stuart:
I think a lot of us learn the hard way sometimes...

Maggie: Yeah.
So I would like to help others not necessarily go thorough the same thing as I did in order to get there.

Stuart:
Ja, and, and, I think you have been a great help, I think your, your wide view of the world, you knowledge and your commitment to helping others, especially women understand themselves and their position, you know, that they don’t have to be - erm - living a different world from themselves - I was just trying to think of the words there - if they’re authentic they can be themselves and they can understand, you know, how to work with other people and to get the respect it’s going to be much better for themselves, but everybody else as well.

Maggie:
Yeah. I agree with that.

Stuart:
So I think that’s really a wonderful thing. I’m so glad that we, we came across each other because you’ve got so much more... we don’t have time to go on now, we could speak for hours and hours. it’s wonderful having you.

Maggie:
No, it’s been great speaking with you and thank you very much again for the opportunity it’s been awesome.

Stuart:
Do you have a closing thought to pass on to the listeners and viewers?

Maggie:
Ummm, I think, at the end of the day it is really, really important to be yourself. Because you are going to be your most successful as yourself and that includes, you know, it’s often difficult, but it includes being able to be honest about who you are and what that involves, whether that involves a mental health issue, the fact that you prefer to walk up to everyone and give them a big hug or the fact that you prefer to stand your distance from people. As long as you own that and step into it you’re on the step of being successful.

Stuart:
Yeah, and that, that authenticity, there’s a lot of words like diversity and authenticity that are becoming buzzwords around the industries but they’re not being taken at the real value, the real meaning and...

Maggie:
Yeah, and the real value is, it’s all about you. You can’t be anyone else but yourself.

Stuart:
No.
You were designed by... (looks toward the heavens) whoever (both laugh) so why should you try and be somebody else?

Maggie:
So, at the end of the day, you’re you and you’re wonderful and what you have to contribute is just as valuable as what the next person does.

Stuart:
Ja.
And your contribution might be in a different angle or a different way but it’s still your contribution and we need that! We need your contribution so...
Thank you once again Maggie, it’s been a wonderful, you know, I don’t know, forty, forty minutes, half an hour or so... maybe one day very soon we could make a second part if you would like that.

Maggie:
No, that would be fabulous, yeah, yeah, be careful inviting me to speak. I can speak for hours.

(Both laugh)

Stuart:
Well, you are a speaker.
So once again, if you want to hear more on it, you know, to, to reaserve a copy of the book it’s UpTheLadderInASkirt.com

Maggie:
Yep, Okay.

Stuart:
Get you course and they can enjoy reading about this book, you know, this book, this book sounds so wonderful.
OK.
Thank you very much Maggie, let me just stop the recording.

How To Grow Your Conversational Power

How To Grow Your Conversational Power

CB006 - How To Grow Your Conversational Power

Are you aware of all the subtle offers that happen during your conversations?

Well, these work both ways and by becoming aware of them and how easy it is to unknowingly offend the other person (or be offended by them) you will add real power to your conversational skills.

It will help build your confidence because you will no longer be feeling rejected during the conversations… and the people you talk to will start to feel warmer to you because you start to show you care about them.

There’s a simple and fun ‘game’ you can play with your friends to build the awareness and skills that are going to ramp up your conversational power.

Listen to this exciting episode right now and discover how to be a more powerful conversationalist,

Or:

Click To Read Show Transcript Now

CB006 - How To Grow Your Conversational Power
Hi there, welcome back to confidence bytes, my name’s Stuart Elliott for this exciting show.
Now today I want to continue the theme from the previous show about good conversations and I want to specifically talk about acceptance and refusal in a two way conversation.
Now, if you think of a long term couple, quite often their relationship stales and they give up talking to each other. But why do you think that is?
Well, there are many, many reasons but one prime reason is that one or both keep refusing the other’s offers. Now what do I mean by that?
Well, let’s, let’s think about it... You and I are having a conversation and you invite me to go for a Pizza and I say: “Mmmmm, I don’t fancy Pizza, let’s go for aa hamburger instead.”
Now what have I done? I’ve just taken your offer, a perfectly good offer, and I’ve just refused it, I’ve said: “No. I don’t like your offer, I want to have my offer, I want to make myself more important so I want to go and do my thing. I don’t care about your thing.”
And this can be a very subtle interchange and there are so many variations on it but it’s something to become aware of because, over time, if I keep refusing everything you offer then you are going to stop wanting to be with me so much, you’re going to stop making offers to me.
So we have to, as people in conversations, we have to start developing our awareness to hear when we’re making these refusals, and we also have to be aware of the offers that people are giving us.
And there’s a very good way of doing that. And that’s by a game which one of my mentors, Igor Ledochowski’s called the ‘Yes, Let’s’ game and there’s also a variation or similar game in ‘Improv’ by Keith Johnston, and t’s really about building status in conversations.
So let’s look at how you can play it...
Basically, every time your friend - well before you even have that you, you need to get together with a friend and what you need to do is, you need to set the scene. So let’s say we’re at an office party and every time your friend and you have an interchange one of you is going to make an offer.
The person who makes the offer then waits for the other person to accept it and make another offer. An you keep building and building on that and see where you go. And you can do it in two ways.
You can make it into a fantasy or you can make it into a realistic situation. So if we’re at an office party - erm - we could start the interchange:
“Hey man, I’m Stuart. I’ve not met you before, are you new to the company?” And you say to me:
“No, I work, I’ve been here a few years, I work in one of the back offices. I’ve not seen you either, what is your name?” - Sorry, not ‘what is your name.’ cos I’ve already told you that...
“My name is Mary.”
And I say: “OK Mary, great to meet you! - erm, you know, erm - would you like to go and get something to eat from the snack table?”
And you say: “Great idea! Let’s go to the snack table...”
And then we’re walking over to the snack table and you say: “look, look at those wonderful - erm, erm - hors d’oeuvres, let’s grab one of the hors d’oeuvres.”
I say: “Great idea!” and we keep this banter going.
But, if at some stage you make me an offer, say “Would you like a drink of - erm - of orange juice?” And I say “no thanks, I’d rather have a glass of water.”
Bang! I’ve just refused you! And it’s, it’s quite subtle and we can keep doing that... you know, once or twice we can get away with it, but if we keep doing it in the conversation then eventually the other person just gives up.
So my suggestion is you play these games, you get realistic situations and you just walk through them.
And, you know, to give you an indication of how subtle it can be, one of my practice partners who I work with from my Hypnotherapy University - he and I were having this conversation, we were doing this game and he, he suggested: “Let’s go for a drink? Let’s go to that pub over there for a drink.”
So I said: “Great idea.” and we start walking to ward the pub... And I say: “Here’s the door, I’m walking into the pub.” And as we walk into the pub, we get to the bar and I said: “OK, what would you like to have to drink?”
And he immediately felt that I’d refused him.
Now, from my point of view, I was being polite, I was being respectful to him because I was asking him what he wants to drink. But he took it the wrong - the other way, not the wrong way the other way. He said that he felt I’d refused him because he’d made the offer of let’s go for a drink. He was expecting me to get the drink and give him a drink.
Now, I thought about this for a second, I said: “In my world if someone gives me a drink I’m not too happy about it because, you know, I want to drink something I like. I don’t like people giving me things that maybe - er -perhaps I wouldn’t like, I’d rather have that choice. So I can understand your point of view... so what about if I changed the wording to sayyyy... erm - I’m having a Bitter would you like the same?”
Now he said: “It’s OK, That is OK.” He could accept that.
It’s a very slight change and to me it’s still, you know, in his language a refusal but he didn’t see it that way.
So this is just an indication of how subtle it can be. And there’s a wonderful book by Keith Johnston called ‘Improv’ I-M-P-R-O-V, you can get it on Amazon, and it’s about improvisational theatre. And there are many, many exercises and, and activities, you know, based around this and ‘Status’ and all types of things. And I just want to read you a paragraph from it just to show you - erm, you know, how this can also play out in real life again.
So, Keith Johnston was saying: “In my own case I was astounded to find when I thought I was being friendly I was actually being hostile. If someone had said ‘I like your play.’ I would have said: ‘No, it’s not up too much.’ perceiving myself as being charmingly modest. In reality I would have been implying that my admirer had bad taste.”
Think about that...
How many times do you do something similar, how many times do you just brush-off a compliment like that? Your friend says to you: “Oh that’s great, that was a well done job, that’s really well done!” and you say: “Ach, it was nothing, it was too easy.”
What you’re doing by thinking you’re being modest is you’re saying she doesn’t know what she’s talking about because she thinks something’s difficult and hard to do when you, in reality, know it’s so easy and it wasn’t anything special so you’re putting her down. You’re telling her she’s a little bit, you know - erm,, short sighted or something like that.
And, you know, this is, this is a very subtle interchange we have all the time, we think we’re being modest, we think we’re doing right, and we don’t realise how much we could be hurting somebody. And, as I say, it builds up over time, over time, over time and eventually people stop complimenting, they stop making offers because they keep getting rejected.
And this can then sap your confidence, and from two points. One is if you’re the one who’s always being rejected your confidence goes down because you’ve just been told you’re a little bit silly because you don’t understand how easy something was. Another way is that your friends don’t want to talk to you so you think there must be something wrong with you and you don’t realise it’s just a subtle play on the conversation.
Let me give you another example - and I did this the other day! (laughing) And, you know, I know about it and yet I still did it! This is how insidious it is okay.
We try to elevate ourselves above the other person for recognition, and what I did, I was talking to some people on the phone and I said: “Oh, you know, um, I I I...” because I’m staying in China and the area I live in we have Typhoons at this time of year, it’s July. And, I was talking to them and I just said - erm - something about: “There’s a Typhoon coming but it’s not too bad.”
And what I was doing was, I was elevating my status above them because they’re in an area where they don’t get Typhoons, they don’t get very much bad weather like that. Or I will do it and say: “Oh, the temperature here’s 38 degrees, it’s lovely, I love it.” And they’re in an area where the temperature’s pretty cold, 18 degrees, 16
degrees. And I’m trying to elevate myself above them and I’m not realising I’m doing it. And maybe I’m making them feel a little bit lower in status and putting them down.
Now obviously, once or twice in a conversation is not so bad but it can keep happening, keep happening, keep happening. So I want you to think about that, I want you to listen, because once you become aware of it then it doesn’t hurt so much. You realise that the other person doesn’t know and they’re not deliberately putting you down. It’s just something that happens without them understanding what they’re doing.
And this will give you a lot more confidence because you know how the conversations play out. You’ve become aware through the game I t... you know, I asked you to start playing with your friends, you’ve become aware of the subtleties of the conversation, you’re listening to the wordplays and, you know, sometimes you will not see a change in their, in their... or sorry, you won’t hear a change in their tone.
You might see a change in their body language and it’s maybe in the face, it could be in the eyes twitching a little bit or a little sort of “What?”, you know, if it’s a fairly serious one or perceived to be a fairly serious thing but quite often body language is hidden in the face.
Body language is more observable in the body because we’re trained, from a young age, to keep our expressions off our face and, you know, I’m, I’m a good example of that. I have a ‘wooden’ face, especially on video (giggle) you know, it’s a lot of effort for me to learn to smile and to expand my emotions into my face because over the time, you know, when I was younger I was shy and I put on this front.
And I thought everybody would like it because it’s a sophisticated front but they took it as standoffish. Now I’ve realised that and I’m working on making my face more expressionable.
So this is something that, you know, you need to become aware of. Look at the whole body and when you’re having the conversation and you think there’s a refusal see what their body does, and if you want to find out any more about body language there’s a really good book.
It’s called - erm, and I can’t... it’s called every... no, what’s, ‘What Everybody’s Saying’ and it’s written by a guy called Joe Navarro who used to be an FBI agent and interrogator and he’s got some really interesting information in that book about the subtleties of body language and how you can’t just take one little thing - you’ve got to take all the little things and put them into a big picture.
So if you want to know more about body language that’s a really good resource for you to get.
And think about it when you’re talking with your friends in a normal conversation: do they suddenly do ‘this’ or do they make a... have a reaction or is there a different tone in their voice or do they go quiet and start, you know, being a bit more ‘considering’?
Is that because of something you’ve said unintentionally’s hurt them or unintentionally has put them down because you’ve tried to elevate your status or you’ve made them feel a little bit silly.
Here’s another example of it, and this again’s from Keith Johnston - erm, where’s it gone?
Here it is. It’s about two people. One’s reading a book and the other one comes up and says: “What are you reading?”
And the person who’s reading says: “No, War and Peace.”
And the person who asked the question says: “Oh! That’s my favourite book.”
And then ‘B’ starts to feel a little bit ‘brrrr’ because he’s struggling to read it, he’s not finished it and you, by saying “That’s my favourite book.”, you’re implying that you’ve read it more than once because it’s your favourite.
And that’s putting him down because now he feels a little bit inadequate compared to you.
So if you change it and you say erm: “What are you reading?” and he says “War and Peace” and you say: “Oh, I’ve always wanted to read that.” He’s now feeling better because he’s now, you know, keeping his status.
Now you could also say: “Oh I started reading that as well but I found it very difficult. I’m on page ten...” or twenty, “What page are you on?” Or you don’t even specify the page, you ask him what page he’s on. And you say: “Okay, I haven’t got that far.”
He’s still keeping his status, he’s still feeling, you know, elevated in the conversation. You’re not putting him down by saying “Oh, I’ve read that many times.”
So think about what I’ve said, I would seriously suggest you play this back many times and listen to it because there are so many subtleties.
Get a friend, talk to them about what you want to do with the ‘Yes, Let’s’ game and set the scenes and just listen for how many times you subtly put the other person down.
And here’s another way we do it:
We have a, a relationship, you know, maybe it’s, it’s, it’s a friend relationship, or a husband wife or a couple relationship, it doesn’t matter. And one says to the other one, and says: “Would you like to go ‘somewhere’?” or “When would you like to go ‘somewhere’?”
And you say: “Ach, I don’t know. It’s up to you, you choose, I’m happy with anything you choose.”
You know, they’ve made you an offer and you’ve just pushed it back in their face! You know, it’s so simple, so subtle but it happens all the time.
You keep doing it and guess what?
You’re going to have communication problems.
And I notice myself doing it with my wife. She says: “Would you like to go somewhere tonight?” and I say: “Well, it’s up to you, I’m not bothered.”
Instead of saying: “Yes, thats a great idea!” - and that makes her feel good because she’s had a great idea - I say: “Ach, I don’t know.” so it makes her feel bad. So eventually, over time if I keep doing that she will stop making offers and then we don’t go out. Then we have a boring existence and we, we wonder why there’s no communication.
So become aware. Listen carefully to the conversations you have with your friends and everybody else. Pick up the subtleties, start learning about them and see how you can modify your language and try it and see what happens.
And I can guarantee you’ll start having better conversations, and when you have better conversations people will like you, and when they like you, you’ll like yourself because you feel more confident in yourself.
It’s, it’s a wonderful spiral!
So you go away, practice the game. Get confident everyday, get more confident everyday.
And thank you... And I’ll see you next week.

How To Improve Conversations

How To Improve Conversations

CB005 - How To Improve Your Conversations

Have you have been stuck for words during a conversation or met someone new and felt tongue tied?

Not knowing what to say to someone you’ve just met is a common challenge and one that can rob you of confidence. The thing is though, it doesn’t have to be this way.

This exciting podcast will go through some simple techniques that you can use to start having good conversations with any one you meet. Incorporate these techniques and you will be surprised how easy it becomes to improve your conversations.

And, as a bonus, your existing relationships, whether with work colleagues or others will start to take on a more positive lite as you grow in conversation confidence.

Click here to: Download Episode CB005 Resource Pack

OK, ready to listen? Great, the play button’s below.

 

Or:

Click To Read Show Transcript Now

CB005 - How To Improve Your Conversations
Hello there. Welcome back to Confidence Bytes. My name is Stuart Elliott and I’m your host for this exciting show. Now today I want to talk to you about two things. The first one is I want you to start thinking about confidence as a habit.
The second part is to start building our ability to have good conversations. Now, this has been very, very difficult for me in the past because I’ve always been the shy, party wallflower. Every party you’d go to, you’d see me propping up the wall, drink in hand, desperately hoping that somebody would come talk to me, because I was too shy to go out and talk to somebody. I didn’t know what to say.
So this is why I want to help you to get over the problem I had.
Now, let’s go back to confidence.
Confidence is a habit...
And you know habits are formed. So it makes sense to form good, confidence habits, doesn’t it?
Now, what do I mean by that?
Well, in the other show, I reminded you about putting an elastic band on your wrist or something like that, or you could have it on your – if you wanted to be crazy, you could put it on your ear or something, but, you know having a reminder, a little device that every time you see it, it reminds you to think about being confident. And I talked about having the “I am good” sheet, the Success Diary, the “I can” pages in your pocket. And every time, you know, you set your alarm and every time your alarm went off, you got them out of your pocket you looked at them, and you’d smile: “Yeeeees! Im so confident, I’m so good!” and then you put them back in your pocket, set the alarm, and go off.
Well the elastic band was the same type of device. What it is, every time you see it, it reminds you, triggers your mind to take them out, look at them, smile at yourself, feel good about yourself, and go about your day more confident. And if you have this on your wrist and you look at it, and you note it every – you know, you pull your things out – every time you note it, and you do this every day for two or three weeks, you’ll be surprised how quickly this becomes a habit, how quickly your thinking that you are a good person, and your understanding that you can do so many things, and your success diary proved that to you.
And you use that with the confidence triangle, I introduced in the last show, to just keep doing more and more and more, and this will become a habit. You’ll start getting the habit of feeling good about yourself.
Now, most of us have got the habit of feeling bad about ourselves.
And we need to replace that, we need to get rid of that, just kick it out the window and feel good. And over time, it will be cemented into you.
Now, here’s the thing, how effective do you think that will be? Probably at this moment, you’re a little bit dubious, but let me tell you this with a story, a true story. One of my mentors, Igor Ledochowski, told a story about a webathon where there was a guy on the webathon – sorry, telethon, telethon, it a few years ago back in the UK – there was this guy on this telethon and he was doing pushups for about a day. 24 hours without a break.
And everybody was stunned about how fit and how strong he was. And he tells the story that he wasn’t always like that.
He used to be the original couch potato, and one day, he decided he needed to do something, so he bought a pair of training shoes, and he put them by the door, the front door.
And every time he passed them, he looked at them, but he didn’t put them on, and he didn’t go out, he didn’t do any running. He just looked at them. And then one day, he said, “Okay, I’ll try them on.” So he put them on, and he still didn’t go out and do training.
But he did this a little bit, a little bit, a little bit, and then one day, he went out in the garden and then he started doing a little bit of training, and eventually, this became a habit, and he just did it over, and over, and over, and became this super fit person.
And it’s the same with you, and your ‘I can’, ‘I am good’, and your ‘Success Diary’, and your little elastic band, or whatever devices you want to just jog your memory every time to get them out. You do this regularly, a little bit, by little bit, by little bit, you will change your feelings about yourself, and you’ll make those feelings your good confidence habits.
So remember that: “Confidence Is A Habit”, and it makes sense to have good confidence habits, doesn’t it?
Okay, so, let’s move on to conversations, and earlier on, I told you how I was the original party wallflower, and I didn’t know what to say, I wish somebody would’ve helped me when I was younger. You see, a good conversation is more about you listening to the other person, and asking one or two questions, and letting them do all the work.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
And you know how easy is it to have, you know, to ask a question.
Well, let’s have a look:
“My name is Stuart, how are you?”
“No, My name’s Mary.”
“Mary, what do you do for a living?”
There’s the first question. Mary answers, tells me what she’s doing for a living. “Oh that’s interesting. How long have you been doing that?”
So I just asked two simple questions, and she’s giving me most of the conversation. Now, by listening and being aware of what she’s saying, and how her emotions change as she’s saying it, I can pick up on what it is that’s important to her and ask her a simple question.
And here’s the thing, she will give me all the conversation, all the questions. I just have to listen, show interest, and it’s important – it’s not a police interrogation, it’s not, “Why did you do that? How did you do that?”
It’s genuine interest. “That’s interesting. What’s it like being a doctor? How many people do you see every day? Do you find this very tiring?”
Simple things... You just ask simple questions, but you preface it with interest, with curiosity, with genuine concern about the other person, and they will pick up on that.
Let me give you a good example of this. The other week, one of my clients phoned me, and she said that she hates the people in her office because they’re always bitchy towards her, they’re always talking about things which are not interesting, most of them are young mothers or young parents, and they’re always talking about their
children. Now, she doesn’t have any children, she’s not married, and she really doesn’t have any interest, at this moment, in being married or having children.
So, she doesn’t know how to talk to them, and if they talk about their children, she sort of doesn’t know what to say, so they think she’s aloof and not interested, and they become bitchy behind her back.
So I said to her, “Maybe you’re not interested in children, but what about how their energy changes when they talk about their children? Do they feel proud? Do they feel happy? Do they feel angry? Do they feel frustrated at times? Look at the energy behind what they’re saying, and then ask them genuine questions about that.”
So, you know, think about it, your friend comes in, or your colleague comes into work, and you talk to them, and you say, “Morning,” and you say,
“How are your children today?”
“Oh no, this one...”
“Oh, your children were so naughty. What did they do?”
And you have concern about that, and you echo back your empathy, and then they will start listening and expanding and telling you all the things you need, and maybe this child went and broke six plates in the morning, or did something very similar.
And you say, “My, that’s terrible.”
But you say it with genuine concern. “What did you do next? Did you tell him to clean up? Does he have to pay for them with his pocket money?” Or whatever. And you show concern and empathy, and they will build a conversation for you. They will give you everything you need.
You don’t have to be interested in the topic, per say, you’re interested in more how they perceive the topic and how their energy comes across. So, she thought this was a great idea and she’s going to try this.
And during the course of our conversation, she let drop that she started learning the Zither. And the Zither is a long box, erm, it’s a Chinese instrument. It’s a long box, maybe about two meters long, and about 200 deep, and it’s got lots of strings on it, and people play it by plucking the strings, and, “Dong. Dong.”
But, it’s not my kind of instrument. It doesn’t – the sound is nice, but it’s just not my type of thing, and I’m not really interested in the zither, but when she told me, I said to her,
“Okay,” I said, “I didn’t know you played the zither. How long have you been playing?”
And she started saying she started to do this, she’s been doing this for two years now, but she’s starting to get better, and she’s becoming more confident about it, so she wants to play more.
So I said, “Do you have a zither?”
“No, I go to a shop. There’s a music shop and there’s a woman I’ve got to know there, and she’s really very friendly, very kind, and she’s teaching me.”
And we started having this long conversation about my client, Jo having lessons from this woman, how they’re both very busy, so they can’t always have a regular lesson, but they make communication by phone.
And Jo is now going on about the shop getting bigger and getting busy, so the woman is expanding the shop, and the shop is now about 2000 square meters.
And this conversation just got bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and all the time, Jo was getting more and more animated, she was getting more relaxed, more happy to tell me all about this thing that’s really important to her.
And after about ten minutes, I stopped Jo, and said, “Okay, Jo, how do you feel right now?”
And she looked at me and she said – well, we were on the phone, so I couldn’t see her, but you could hear her voice change. She’s smiling, and she said, “I feel so happy. I feel so light. I feel so excited.”
I said, “Why do you think that is?”
And she said, “Because you’re showing you care.”
And I said, “Well what did I do? I only asked you a couple of questions.”
And that’s the point. I only asked a couple of questions about topics she had told me were interesting and important to her. I was focused on her energy. She was getting more excited, I was giving her feedback noises:
“That’s great”, “Mmm,” “Interesting...”
All these types of acknowledgements that I’m listening and I’m concerned, just like, she said:
“The shop’s getting bigger.”
“That’s interesting. How big is the shop? How many people? How long do you play?”
But I was prefacing it with a comment to show that I was interested. I wasn’t making it into an interrogation. And in reality, in that conversation, I only asked about three to four questions. I didn’t do any work, I just listened, and I was aware of how she was changing, how her energy was growing, and she was getting excited by the conversation.
So I said to her afterwards, I said, “Okay, so you feel much more excited because I seemed to be an interested person who was showing genuine concern, and listening to you, and giving you the chance to talk about something important to you. How can you apply that with your colleagues at work, the ones you say their conversation is boring?”
And this really got her thinking because all I had done was echo, in a practical way, what I told her.
Work with the energy, work with the interest of the other person. They will provide the topic, or the topics, or the questions for you to ask.
Your job is to listen with genuine interest to them. You may not be interested in the topic as I say, but you have the interest in how they change their energy. Then, as you listen, you acknowledge that you’re listening, especially if you’re on the phone and they can’t see you, and if you got a question, preface it, if you can, with a nice acknowledgement:
“Oh that’s interesting.”, “Oh that’s fantastic.”, “Wow, that sounds great!”, “Tell me about this part of it.”
And just make it genuine, and I tell you, you will have the best conversations you have ever had.
So, it’s a very simple technique. It will take you practice. It will take you a little bit of time, you don’t have to go whole hog, just think about a conversation you would normally have for 30 seconds or a minute, and then you feel tongue-tied. Can you double it to two minutes? I’m pretty sure you can. Can you double it to three, or make it three minutes? I’m pretty sure you can do that. In fact, why don’t you have a competition with yourself?
Or you could tweet me on ‘@StuartDoubleC’ and let me know how long you’re getting your conversations to go for. And remember, it’s not about you talking, it’s about you listening and getting the other person to talk to you, because people love to talk about themselves.
If they have pets, they love to talk about their pets. If they have children, they love to talk about their children. If they have hobbies, or cars, or other toys, they love to talk about those things because it’s exciting to them.
So all you have to do is focus on those things, focus on their excitement, acknowledge them, and then just bring it into the conversation with a couple of well-chosen questions.
So, today has been very useful.
You understand now that confidence is a habit, and habits are formed, so you can form good confidence habits.
And you understand that it’s easy to have a conversation. It’s going to take a little time to practice, and there will be mistakes along the way, but don’t worry about that because you’re just getting better and better and better. Go out and practice.
And in the next show, I’m going to give you more tips about how to make your conversations easier, and how to make them more interesting. So stay tuned, drop me a line, or drop me a message at ‘@StuartDoubleC’ on Twitter. Let me know how you’re going.
Tell me if you’re getting a one minute, a two minute, a three minute, a four minute, or how long the conversation is, and how you felt, and how the other person felt about it. Practice it, go away, start making this a habit along with your confidence habit. It’s going to be the most beneficial thing you do.
So, thanks for watching. It’s been great talking to you. Go out and get more confident every single day.
Ciao.

Driving Success for Women in Business

Driving Success for Women in Business

business-woman-1467854_1920

Driving Success For Women in Business

Although it’s easy to look at all the negativity in this world, sometimes just concentrating on the positives can be a great way to change our mindsets and opinions. After all, the last decade or so has seen a pretty wholesale change in the way that successful business women have been defined.

For any women who wishes to be successful in the world of business, it’s no longer a pipe dream or a silly idea. In fact, these days are long gone! You will find, quite easily, that driving success for women in business is no longer the impossibility it once seemed.

Driving Success for Women in Business

We asked some leading business women for their advice. TS Krupa had this to say “You don’t need to tear down other women in order to be successful. Instead, I would advise that you surround yourself with women who might be positions you want to strive to be in or other leadership roles and get to know them. You don’t have to ask them for favours or assume they will get you your next job but have lunch with them, listen to their stories what works for them or what hasn’t worked and use that to start building your own platform. The biggest thing in business is building your own professional portfolio and how you set yourself apart from everyone else. By developing these skills early in your career you will be a step ahead.”

Sandra Yeow, author of the upcoming book ‘Obstinacy Power’ adds “My advice for a fellow female who wants to be successful is to have determination and persevere on when meeting road blocks. Often the solution is just there when you are about to give up.”

Society is changing – and changing for the better in every possible sense. Now, you can quite easily explore the best ways to enjoy a more fruitful business career. The best route to finding the path to your own success, though, is to come through a coaching program.

How Coaching Helps Successful Business Woman

If you would like to learn how to become a successful business woman, then coaching is what you need. A qualified coach can be a major way to help you experience the real path to success. There are many ways to ensure that you have a long-term future as a business expert, and learning from a coach who you can trust and rely upon is going to be your most effective weapon.

The most successful women in business learn business practice from the best. Then, they use their practice to show the “gatekeepers” that gender does not matter. Successful women leaders, for example, can be the perfect way to showcase to you just how successful a woman can be in the business world.

The Power of Precedent

Let’s take one very quick example – Karen Brady. Karen works at West Ham United Football Club, in one of the most male-dominated industries on the planet. Using her business nous and her experience, Karen has helped West Ham move from their old stadium, the Boleyn Ground, to a new Olympic Stadium.

She used her expertise to help get West Ham a deal that is, to say the least, beneficial to the club. However, this had never have been seen in football before and wouldn’t have become a reality if it was not for the work of other successful business women to help break down these barriers.

By working with some of the most successful women in business you can see, and learn from, how they dealt with the depressing barriers that exist. You’ll find plenty of ideas and advice that works for you, ensuring that you can begin to move away from the old-school challenges that holds lots of women back.

The only thing that can stop you from thinking “I want to become a successful business woman” is quite simply your own confidence. With coaching from the right people, like Double C Coaching, you can find that you have the ability all along.

It’s when you are coached to use your confidence as a tool rather than a barrier that you can make drastic, considerable changes to your life moving forward.

The most successful women in business had to overcome very significant challenge in society to get where they are today. Now, with the right coaching to hone your mindset, you can do the same!

How To Use The Circle Of Influence To Boost Confidence

How To Use The Circle Of Influence To Boost Confidence

CB004 - How To Use The Circle Of Influence To Boost Confidence

You know confidence is the golden key to success don’t you? You know there are so many life challenges that we face and these can be exacerbated or even caused by a lack of confidence in ourselves - it doesn’t matter how skilled you are at things, if you don’t have the confidence in your abilities you’ll only limit yourself.

So, I’m sure you’ll agree that building confidence in your abilities is paramount.

As you listen to this exciting episode you’ll discover how the Confidence Triangle helps you to boost your confidence, why you must live your life in 3D and how a simple technique called the ‘Circle Of Influence’ can give you a confidence lift any time you choose.

And, to help you even more I’ve got a free resource pack you can download here: CB004 Resource Pack

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? So crank up the volume and listen to this happy episode.

Or:

Click To Read Show Transcript Now

CB004 - How To use The Circle Of Influence To Boost Confidence

Hi there. Welcome to another exciting episode of “Confidence Bytes”. My name’s Stuart Elliott from Double C Coaching and I’m going to help you start your week the confident way. Now, later on in this program, I’m going to share with you a very simple NLP anchoring technique that’s going to help you get more confident any time you choose.

But before we go there, I’d just like to remind you that there are PDFs of the exercises we’ve covered in previous shows so if you go to the resources section of my website, www.doubleccoaching.com/resources, that’s www.D-O-U-B-L-E-C-C-O-A-C-H-I-N-G.com/R-E-S-O-U-R-C-E-S, www.doubleccoaching.com/resources. The link’s also in the description of this show so there’s no need to go there now.

There’s some wonderful PDFs there that will help you get the most out of these, you know, the shows and you’ll be able to remember the exercises whenever you want.

Okay, so, let me just remind you about something. Why confidence? Well, I would say personally that confidence is the golden key to success. You see, there are so many life challenges that we face and these can be exacerbated or even caused by a lack of confidence in ourselves. And, you know, I’ve just been watching some reruns of The X Factor, the talent show, and you see that the people who perform well, it’s not because they have better talent, it’s not because they’re better singers. It’s because they have more confidence in their abilities. In fact, some of the guys who perform so well and get the best results aren’t the best singers in the world, but their confidence carries them through. They believe in themselves so they make it happen for themselves.

Conversely, some of the people who have the most wonderful voices just don’t believe in themselves, and they go to pieces. They fall apart on stage in front of the crowd because their confidence isn’t there. They don’t have that self-belief in themselves. And I apologise if there’s some tweeting you can hear, I’ll try to edit it out, but in my air conditioner I’ve got some birds nesting there and the babies are now just getting ready to fledge and hopefully they’ll be gone soon. So, my apologies for that, but, you know, I like wildlife. I’m not gonna kill them off.

So anyway, think about confidence. Confidence is your self-belief in your habits. And what I would like you to think about is imagine a triangle: an equilateral triangle, a triangle with all three sides the same. The bottom side which is resting on the floor is understanding. Okay?

Understanding of what you’ve achieved in your life, understanding of all the things you can do, understanding of all the knowledge that you’ve got. So that’s the bottom side.

The left hand side of the triangle is the congratulation. You need to regularly congratulate yourself for everything you’ve done, for everything you’ve learned, for everything you’ve achieved. The more you congratulate yourself, the better and the more confident you’ll become.

So you have your understanding of what you’ve achieved, you have your congratulations, and the third side on the right is recognise that because you’ve already achieved so much, you can achieve so much more.

So, understand, congratulate: “Yes, I’ve done so much! I’m good. I’ve learned so much.” Recognise. Understand. Congratulate. Recognise. Understand. It just keeps building and building and building and makes you feel more confident.

And here’s another thought for you -- live your life in 3D.

Why? Because your decisions determine your destiny. You are where you are today because of the decisions you’ve made.

And if you haven’t made a decision, then you’ve still made a decision because you decided not to make a choice. You decided not to do that. So that is also a decision. So you are only where you are because of the decisions you made.

Now, take myself. Many years ago, I was living in the UK and I decided I wanted to travel to Africa. So I went.

I travelled for six months in Africa, had the most wonderful, exciting, and sometimes scary experiences. Got back to the UK and decided that I wanted to go back to Africa and live in Africa.

So I did.

Was it easy?

It was a little bit sort of, but it was also a little bit challenging because I didn’t have a job and my house I had in the UK, the sale of that fell through before I went, so I was left with a house in the UK and then I had to go to Africa because I already had a ticket, but I did it.

Then after 18 wonderful years in Africa and some years not so wonderful, because, you know, life is want to throw experiences at you to make you challenge, I decided to move to China. And I’m still here, 13 years later!

Three continents - How could I do that without confidence in my abilities to handle, to tackle anything that comes to me?

So believe in yourself.

Congratulate yourself because you can do anything you want if you set your mind to it, okay. And here’s another thing about congratulations:

How many times have people said to you “Well done! That was great,” and you said “Well no it wasn’t so good”? If you excuse the expression, BS! Don’t think that, don’t say that. Smile and say “Thank you very much for that compliment. It means a lot to me,” because it is a special thing and it’s a recognition of your abilities and you should always be recognising your abilities and congratulating yourself for them.

Now maybe you think you could do things better, fine. You’ve done it well now, you can always improve, just like my videos. If you look at the first few videos, they’re not so hot. The second, third, fourth, fifth ones? They’re getting better. Are they perfect? No. Do I care? No. My message is what’s important. As long as you can recognise my message and you can resonate with it, that’s what’s important. If I make mistakes, I make mistakes.

But you know what a mistake is?

It’s an opportunity to learn.

That’s the most important thing about mistakes. You make them, you learn from them, and you grow, and you grow, and you grow and you need to congratulate yourself for that. You need to congratulate -- see, I made a mistake -- You need to congratulate yourself for making a mistake because it gives you the opportunity to grow.

So, think about that.

And now, I want you to think about a very special person.

You!

You are a very special person and I want you to think about a time when you felt really happy, really good. It could be your first kiss, it could be the first time you learned to write a letter, maybe A or B or C, but you were so proud of yourself that you just ran around showing everybody:

“Look at this, look at this! Look at this!”

You were so happy.

I want you to think about that.

And we’re going to use that memory to help you build your confidence by using an NLP anchoring technique called the Circle of Confidence. Sorry, Circle of Influence. And anchoring really is: you, you, have a memory which you can trigger any time with a certain gesture or a certain action and that action will then release all the goodness of that memory.

So, what I want you to do is I want you to grab a piece of paper. Now, I’ve decided to use my “I am good” sheet because, you know, I can look at it and say I am good because, because it helps me to build that memory.

You put this on the floor and you step onto it. And as you step onto it, you have that memory come and start building inside you. You have that feeling of goodness, that feeling of being special.

It’s starting to build and build inside you. And if you’ve got your “I am good” sheet you look at it and you say: “Yes, I am good!” and you start remembering all the good things about you and just let that memory get bigger.

And when you can feel it, make it bigger. 200% bigger, 300% bigger, 400% bigger, 500% bigger! Make it as big as you can. Really, really, feel the specialness, the goodness in you. Then just stand there and savour that memory when you’re standing on your piece of paper and enjoy it.

Now, step off the paper. Just walk away and do something a little bit for a few seconds and forget the memory. Then, come back. Step on the paper. And just let it all come again. Build it up more and more and more and more. Step off. Go back on.

So you just keep doing this.

Here’s the important thing: Don’t try this if you’re driving.

Wait till you get home.

And secondly, you need to really feel that pride in yourself, the pleasure of doing that one thing that was so special to you, and it doesn’t matter what it was, something that makes you smile, something that makes you feel good. And you keep doing this several times, maybe six, seven, eight, nine, ten times and then you can go away.

Come back a bit later. Do it again. Practice. Get that feeling.

And then once you’ve started to make it a more of a habit, I want you to take that paper away and put the paper somewhere else. And now, in your mind imagine that paper or imagine a circle that you draw… and then you step into that circle.

An imaginary circle but this circle is filled with all these good memories and as you step in, you just get this boost of energy just flying through you.

Then, you just enjoy, you savour it. You step away, then you do it again and you do it again but this time it’s with your imaginary circle.

You know something special about your imaginary circle is you can take it off anytime! You can put it on your ring, you can shrink it, you can keep it with you, and you can feel that goodness with you at all times.

And when you need to, you just take it off, flip it on the floor, it gets bigger, you step inside. All this power, all this energy comes to you.

Believe me, this is one of the most effective techniques you can do. It’s so simple to do.

When I was learning NLP, one of the students on the course with me, he helped me set an anchor, and what it is is he basically got me to close my fist like that but down by my sides so nobody could notice. When I do it and squeeze hard, it gives me such a rush of energy, a rush of power, makes me feel so confident. So if I just do this now, nothing happens, but if I put my hands by my side… yyyeeeeesss! I just feel this rush of energy just boosting through me. It’s just such a wonderful feeling.

So, what I want you to do is, I want you to go home, I want you to practice this. I want you to get on the paper, I want you to feel this energy, feel this good memory that you’ve got for yourself.

Get off the paper. Leave the memory there on the paper, then get back on the paper and feel it getting higher and higher and higher and stronger and stronger and stronger.

And you keep doing this until it just becomes a natural thing. Then as I say, you take the paper and you put it away, and you just do it with an imaginary piece of paper or an imaginary ring.

You can put the ring on your finger as I say, you can then go away and you know, flick the ring on the floor, walk into the ring, and it just explodes into you this wonderful feeling of energy.

Now imagine this. You’ve got an interview or you have a meeting with your boss and you’re feeling a little sort of edgy because you’re not quite sure what’s going on. So, you open the door to your boss’s office or the interview room and as you walk in, you just flip the ring onto the floor and it expands for you. You walk into it, you step into it. Nobody knows, nobody’s aware of this, but it just happens.

As you step in, this energy just comes rushing into you, just comes rushing into you, you feel so good and then you have a great interview, you have a great meeting with your boss, and then as you go out, you just take it with you, put it back on your finger, you go away and congratulate yourself for a job well done.

Because it’s great!

So remember, it’s great!

You did a really good job.

And this is something that you can do any time and nobody will be none the wiser but you will be. You’ll know that you got your ring with you and that will give you more confidence just like a lucky talisman.

So, as I say, in the resources section of the website -- and there’s the URL again -- you will be able to download more information about this and the other things I’ve mentioned in the previous videos. Go away, download them, practice them, make them a habit. Remember, the one tip about collect… -- sorry -- the one tip about congratulating yourself is really so powerful. Don’t be shy about your congratulations. It’s not about being arrogant. It’s about recognising the good in you.

Okay.

So, thank you for being here. Thank you for allowing me to help you start your week the confident way. My name’s Stuart, as I said, and I’ll speak to you next time. Ciao!

Oh, by the way, before I go, don’t forget to tweet me! Let me know how confident you’re becoming, let me know how these tips are helping you, let me know what you want me to tell you. Okay, great stuff, bye!

×