Post by Salt’s Emma Lowman, Practice Manager, London
A few weeks ago, I sat down with my Director for my weekly 1-2-1. We discussed my pipeline, clients I’m working with, clients I want to be working with, personal goals, what I’m working towards and how I’m going to get there. Moving into Q4 gives you the chance to reflect on your year whilst also considering the year ahead – for me, my ambitions and drive mean I’m constantly pushing myself to develop both out of work and professionally, and one of the things I’ve always struggled with (surprisingly, some might say) is confidence.
For those who work with me will know I’m often the loudest person in the room. When meeting candidates, clients I can talk for hours and I thrive off new business and (sometimes) being the centre of attention. But take me out my comfort zone and it can often be a different story. A few situations I’ve been in over the last few months have really made me reflect on this, standing in front of my colleagues in the Monday morning meeting and being asked to present, or the pressure from wanting to make the best impression possible with a prospect you’ve been trying to work with for years, I can calm myself down to some extent and come across cool, calm and collected – but inside I’m COMPLETELY freaking out.
My management knows this is something I’ve struggled with, and eager to see me develop they’ve signed me up to my biggest fear… a public speaking course. The first session was yesterday evening, and I’m pleased to say, it wasn’t as awful and intimidating as I thought it would be. It got me thinking about confidence, and how from both interviewers and salespersons perspective little things can help contribute to our overall success.
Working with Sales candidates and Sales Directors day in day out I’m often surprised by the success and calibre some of the individuals I come across. Recruiting the same kind of people over the last 6 years has led me to almost have a sixth sense about some people – you meet them for a coffee and within 15 minutes you know they’ll be off the market within the next week. Is it because of their CV? their background? The fact they’ve overachieved on their targets or have been selling an amazing product? Those things definitely come into it, but there’s also something you can’t put your finger on – an air of passion, presence, authenticity and ultimately being comfortable in your own skin.. in the words of Gok Wan ‘’it’s all about the confidence.’’
I’m a massive sucker for Ted Talks and spend most my commuting time listening to them. This week I heard ‘Your body language may shape who you are’ by Amy Cuddy. She speaks of the link between your body and your mind, we have often heard about the powers of our brain, and how we can think our way into certain situations. But what happens when our body tries to trick our brain? Is it possible to pretend to be powerful, and subsequently become more powerful? Amy thinks it is. Her talk enables you to reflect on the way you perceive yourself, as well as actual chemical changes in the brain from simply sitting or standing in a different way. It has made me reflect on my non-verbal communication, and how tiny changes in my body language and posture can make a big impact on my life, I’d massively recommend listening to it.. and sharing the science 😊
I don’t know how the next 12 weeks of my course will unfold, and whether I’ll be the most confident person in the room by the end of it, but I know in the meantime I’ll be standing tall, breathing more and faking it till I BECOME it.