Confidence training – help or hindrance?

“BBC fails to attract women to top reporting roles due to their lack of confidence”. Not too surprising. AConfidence training - help or hindrance reporter at the BBC not only needs the confidence to go for the job, but also to speak out in front of the world. Which is most daunting, I wonder?

Out of a desire to improve the situation, it seems that ‘confidence training’ is now on offer, which is great news – as long as confidence can be ‘trained’.

WATC-logo-PlainRead the original blog from We Are the City here.


Will confidence training help?

Certainly there’s a lot we can do to improve how the world sees us – learning the unspoken ‘rules’ for how to conduct ourselves, repeating reminders about how good we are really and how we can do the job just was well as other people, acting ‘as if’ we are truly confident so they and we begin to believe it. I’m just not convinced it’s enough to create a mindset change – which is the only factor that will make a significant difference.

The pit of personal uncertainty sits deep down inside and isn’t always open to logic and strategies. The Doubting Twin pays no attention at all to positive affirmations – she is just too well versed in the problems and too focused on keeping us safe from criticism to believe any rhetoric. She’s the one who wants to be absolutely sure of her ground before speaking out, who insists upon the safe option and is quite sure that senior job application is too great a risk to take.

The only option is to listen

Confidence training - help or hindranceThe only way to calm her voice is to listen fully and understand what she’s trying to tell you. What is the real message coming your way?

Harriet lived in a family where there were no clear rules. It could have given her enormous freedom, but instead she’s plagued with the fear that she’s getting it wrong without ever understanding why – or if she did.

On the other hand, Lucy enjoyed totally clarity of right and wrong, such that she had little freedom to move. Interestingly, the end result is the same – constant fear of being wrong, so there’s no chance of her trying for a stretching role at work.

The outcome might be the same, but the way through is different. Harriet needs to define her own limits, deciding how she wants to live. Lucy experiments with ‘getting it wrong’ – breaking the rules as often as she can hack it, in order to decide what she agrees with and what she is ready to slough off.

Sign up for training with that inner voice sniping from behind your ear and chances are you’ll fail – and won’t she just love that! Understand the inner voice and confidence ‘training’ will give you all the tools you need to make up for lost time.

So to the women of the BBC:

Understand, appreciate and befriend your Doubting Twin, then nothing and no one will stop you!





Confidence training – help or hindrance?