Lack Confidence in Meetings?
Melanie* thought so, too.
A middle manager in her early 30s, she came to me frustrated about her lack of confidence to speak out in an audience, particularly to a more senior one, despite knowing she had oodles of expertise to contribute meaningfully to the discussions. She found herself over-preparing for meetings, yet staying silent.
We Dug Deeper...
Melanie described a time at university in a Finance lecture where her lecturer ridiculed her for speaking up with the wrong answer, knowing she was having difficulty with the class. It was reasonable for her to conclude then that she lacked confidence because her university lecturer humiliated her over 10 years ago.
Tip: The Presenting Issue is Seldom the Real Issue
As I followed Melanie's thought processes with 'nudging' questioning, she came to realise that she did not feel comfortable speaking out because she was unsure of her career goals. She 'hid' behind her manager, afraid to step into the limelight in case she was asked to step into a position for which she was not ready mentally.
Her actual words?
"OMG - That's Just Like a Google Earth Map!"
"You've put the pinpoint on the Google Earth map."
Once she realised this, it opened up possibilities for her. We worked together to frame what she wanted her life and career to look like in the future, and to get clarity on her values. She decided she wanted to step out of the shadows and into the limelight of leadership. Her entire demeanour transformed. Now, Melanie is confident, dresses like a #ladyboss, takes 'leadership moments' and importantly, speaks firmly and assuredly.
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*Name has been changed to protect confidentiality
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