Thursday, 9 July 2009

Building Confidence


© Se├ín Weafer 2008 all rights reserved

In this blog I cover the fourth ‘C' of my 6C Success Model which is CONFIDENCE.

Let's recap on where we have come so far. In the beginning, we covered CONTEXT - our environment and how we respond to it. Most people tend to re-act whereas the most effective of people pro-act. To move to that, we said that CLARITY (or our Focus) - what we focused on and most importantly why we focused on it - was critical and from there we were in a position to move to the ‘Third C' or CONTROL. Breaking our Focus into the individual steps and actions by which we can take back control of things and no longer feel overwhelmed by what we must do to succeed.

Each step that we now take moves us inexorably towards their goal. They see that with every action they take, they are moving closer and closer to their success.  Imagine the impact that has on growing our confidence and sense of self-esteem.

With control comes a greater sense of self-esteem, a belief in our ability to deliver. Self-esteem is increased once we have clear goals and the power to exercise them. Confidence is boosted by the successful achievement of quick "hits" or small actions. Success breeds success and with growing success comes even more energy, more self-belief and more self-confidence.

In the turbulent times in which we live today - where we are not just struggling to make profits but to survive - confidence is a commodity that is in short supply. Yet it is essential to our success because it provides us with two key things.

First, it banishes FEAR:  Fear is ever-present in the world of business today. Companies are closing, people are being laid off, where trust has been destroyed in so many essential relationships - in the market, in the banking system, in the government's ability to deal effectively with the crisis.

Fear is a virus that spreads from person to person, it is fed by the ever present bad news from the media, in the language that people start to use - crisis, meltdown, closures, unemployment, market shrinkage, volatility.

In such an environment confidence acts as a powerful antidote. Why? Because confidence cannot stand still.

It drives people to take action, to move forward, to create innovation and to seek new ideas and new ventures. It encourages people to maintain a positive ‘state' or feeling about things and thus make decisions and take risks for change - which others in the grip of the fear virus cannot do. It encourages and supports people when they choose not to take part in the herd mentality of the recession.

Yes, things are bad - confidence is not an unreality pill - but things can only change when one has the confidence to act. All our decisions are fundamentally emotionally-based - what we decide and how we decide is driven by our feelings. It stands to reason that someone who is confident (based on proper reflection and defined goals) will make the kinds of decisions that will identify and exploit the opportunities that remain in the market place - leading to their success.

Secondly, it inspires people. In times of crisis, people like someone who can step forward and lead the way, show them a path that they can focus on and move forward.

As sales managers we have a responsibility to both our staff and clients to act in a determined and positive manner. We have a responsibility to start to create and manage the expectations of those around us. As a business development coach I know and have seen time and again that expectations drive behaviours.

By creating confidence in ourselves, we imbue those around us with confidence too because they consciously or unconsciously ‘model' our behaviours.

They are intrigued and want to know what it is that keeps our spirits up and our energy strong. They want to do business with us because we become a search light in the gloom that surrounds them. We become people who can loosen them from the bonds of fear that surround them everyday.   They want to do business with us because we strengthen them whereas the market frightens them.

By following the 3 C's we inevitably reach the 4th - Confidence - and start to transform the world.

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