For the past year or so, Continuum Coaching has been involved with a great business networking group called Women Outside the Box. Founded by Joni Farthing, I have found her and her team to be a wonderful inspiration, creating a very wholesome place for women to network, in addition to bringing some of the latest thinking in the form of visiting speakers and presenters at the monthly meetings.
For the past 3 years, Women Outside the Box has also hosted a conference in Bristol to celebrate women at work and in business. Joni prefers to call the conference a ‘festival’ because its ethos is about celebrating, supporting and enabling women to be their professional best, as well as acknowledging the additional responsibilities women invariably carry. The role of looking after small children, caring for elderly parents, running a home, being a great chef, housekeeper or gardener often fall to the alpha female. For me, Women Outside the Box absolutely acknowledges this multi-layed role and refrains from peddling the message “we can have it all”, but rather facilitates us getting the right support in place. Of course the fundamental aim of the Women Outside the Box business club is to meet new contacts which will hopefully result in new business, but nonetheless Women Outside the Box have resisted the temptation to replicate the ‘The Devil Wears Prada!’ vibe!
At this year’s festival I will be running a session around the topic of confidence, along with my colleague Rosalind J Turner from Netwalking South West. In our experience, when working in the capacity of coach, the subject of confidence comes up frequently and in all walks of life. I have often been surprised how some seemingly uber-confident people will confess to feeling inadequate and inferior in their line of work.
When thinking about confidence, we often think about it in an omni-present way. That is to say, confidence can be seen as something we either have completely or not at all. Rather than this black or white picture of confidence, we work with our clients to establish exactly what they wish to be confident to do or have. Once the specifics have been nailed down, the job of unpicking the barriers can begin. For me, building confidence distils down to one core thing – taking action. Susan Jeffers famous book ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ advocates taking your courage in your hands and to just go for it. That is often much easier said than done, but with careful un-packing, a way forward can be found, with often very profound and immediate results.
I am very excited about speaking at this years Women Outside the Box festival, not only to get participants thinking about what confidence means personally, but to get down to the specifics. We will be weaving in lots of opportunity for people to network and make contacts, which creates the opportunity to continue a dialogue after the festival has finished.
Do come along and see us. We also have a stand which will give you the opportunity to come and find out a bit more about what we do. If you are thinking about executive coaching services either for yourself or your organisation, there is a 25% festival discount which you might want to take advantage of. Either way, it’s always good to make connections, so when the time is right you know where to find us.
We look forward to meeting you on Monday 20th October at the Colston Hall. Our session is at 10.30am.