Archive for the ‘General’ category

Confidence: What a wonderful thing!

February 7th, 2018

How to grow your confidence


How do you think? “I can” or “I can’t?”


One of my favourite quotes is;


“Whether you think you can, or you can’t; you’re right”


The quote is credited to Henry Ford and it’s one that I use a lot, as its about confidence and self-belief, or what I like to refer to as the ‘messages’ that we tell ourselves. “Be careful what you tell yourself” as my friend and mentor Ross Page, used to tell me.


Basically, it’s saying that if we start with the thought (belief) that ‘we can’t’ do or achieve something we’re setting ourselves up for the probability of that outcome. Equally ifConfidence to grow anywhere we start with the thought that ‘we can’ do or achieve something we are setting out towards a positive outcome. There’s a part of our brain that always likes to be right! Therefore, depending on which of the messages above you’ve told yourself, it’s likely to be right!


Confidence is sometimes an elusive thing, and a lack of it is something that we can all experience at times. Over the last nine years of running my own business I’ve discovered that I’m not alone in this experience either. When I talk to my peers and fellow business owners and I’m truthful with them about my thoughts and feelings I discover that many of them have similar experiences at times.


So how do we maintain that confidence, or get it back when we’re “having a wobble”, a moment of doubt? Here’s a few ideas;


Talk to a trusted friend/advisor: Sharing your doubts with other people, people that understand what that is like can be a liberating event. I’ve found that my peers not only offer me support, but they offer me a different perspective as well as great ideas for enabling me to move forward.


Positive self-talk is really useful: By observing our thoughts we can catch ourselves when negativity creeps in. We can’t choose the thoughts we have, but we can choose which ones we react too and therefore how we feel.


Trust yourself to deliver: You’ve been in difficult spots before, or had very challenging deadlines to deliver and you’ve achieved them before, so you can do it again. Look back and remind yourself of all the times that you’ve kept your agreements or delivered on your commitments. Remind yourself that you came through those and learnt from them as well.


Set yourself some clear objectives (goals): Make sure that they are tangible. Create a vivid picture of what the final outcome looks and feels like and how you intend to get there.


Focus on what YOU want: Keep your focus specifically on what you want, within yourself, your life, your business etc., as opposed to what you don’t want. This ensures that you are focussed on positive outcomes rather than a negative (i.e. what you don’t want).


Have fun, enjoy the ride: Don’t forget, life is for living, so have fun. See the positives in each day, each experience, and learn from them as well. And if things don’t go to plan, learn from the experience, pick yourself up and go again! We learn from everything we do.


Nurture self-belief and confidence will follow… and you can start right now.


If you would like help to develop your skills in this arena please give me a call on 01273 35886 for a no obligations conversation or email me at [email protected]


Martin Smith Learning and Development Ltd is a management training and coaching company working with business leaders at all levels to help them develop their communication and management skills and to build effective working relationships with the people that they interact with. For a no obligations conversation give me a call on 01273 358863 or email me at [email protected] 
Helping you to GROW  your business by developing your people

The art of Networking – connecting with people

May 11th, 2016

NetworkingNetworking is mostly about connecting with people and building effective relationships with them and since any business is reliant on connecting with people, even on-line businesses, this is a crucial subject for any entrepreneur and business owner to focus on.

If you’re short on time to read the full article, here’s some tips to help you get the most out of your next networking opportunity;

» Read more: The art of Networking – connecting with people

Emotional Intelligence and what it can mean for you

April 8th, 2016

Emotional Intelligence and you

Emotional intelligence (EI) is our ability to understand and manage emotions in ourselves and in others. EI is a major factor in your personal and professional perceptions and interactions and is now becoming a more preferred method for evaluating employee credentials than simply looking at their IQ.

» Read more: Emotional Intelligence and what it can mean for you

What’s causing unproductive meetings?

June 27th, 2014

How to have better meetings

I’ve written a few posts over the years Evaluating Meetings, Planning a meeting using PPO and Leading Meetings Effectively. Meetings are a fundamental part of business life, whether you are a small company or a large international organisation, meetings are intended as a way of communicating, sharing information, decision making and as a vehicle for perhaps delegating tasks that need to be done. This post is meant to go some way to answer the question; What’s causing unproductive meetings in our working environment today?

Meetings take up a considerable amount of our time, but for most organisations the actual ‘cost’ of meetings is simply lost or never thought about in real terms. Have you ever stopped to work out the actual cost to the organisation of a meeting? The next time you’re sitting in a meeting, take a moment to work out an estimate of the cost to the organisation. Think about how much time is being spent. Think about the average salary sitting round the table or “on the call”. Think about the loss of productivity whilst people are in the meeting. Or maybe think about the “loss of potential customer contact” whilst you’re in the meeting. In this technological age where teleconferences and video conferencing is becoming more prevalent, providing new distractions and opportunities to not focus on the task at hand.

The truth is that many meetings that you attend are about as useful as a chocolate teapot is for making tea. (Mind you, you can always eat it!)

» Read more: What’s causing unproductive meetings?

Leadership Lessons from Route 66 (Pt 2)

October 4th, 2013

Management & Leadership Development in SussexThis second of two blog entries about some leadership lessons that I drew from a trip across America via Route 66 earlier this year.

If you missed the first instalment you can catch-up with it here.


We we’re lucky enough to travel the whole Route from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. It had been an ambition for a while and we wanted to do it the proper way, on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. We made the trip as part of a group in an organised tour run by Eaglerider in the USA.


So how did I draw Leadership lessons out of this experience you may well ask? Well, being a management trainer and coach I try to look for learning in everything that I do and everywhere that I go. Our Route 66 experience was literally ‘littered’ with them, from the people that have helped the Route to survive and prosper, and the people who fought and in some cases continue to fight to have their town, city or attraction listed as a Route 66 Historic monument. However it is our guides and support teams on our journey that I want to focus on today for they were truly inspirational. So what did I learn?

» Read more: Leadership Lessons from Route 66 (Pt 2)

Leadership Lessons from Route 66 (Pt. 1)

September 27th, 2013

Leadership Lessons

This blog entry is based around some leadership lessons that I drew from a trip across America via Route 66 earlier this year. We travelled the whole Route from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. It had been an ambition for a while and we wanted to do it the proper way, on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. We made the trip as part of a group in an organised tour run by Eaglerider in the USA.


This is a two part blog with 5 Leadership lessons in each one. The second one can be found here.


» Read more: Leadership Lessons from Route 66 (Pt. 1)

Executive coaching: Common Misconceptions

July 3rd, 2013

Executive Coaching Word Cloud

Over the last few years executive coaching has enjoyed growing popularity in the world of staff development. It’s no-longer viewed as solely the domain of senior management or simply for staff requiring remedial development (“to get them back on-track”). It is becoming regarded as an essential tool for developing both existing managers and new ‘high potential’ staff alike.


However, despite this growing popularity, many common misconceptions still exist. These mainly revolve around the nature of the work that executive coaches do and the results they’re expected to achieve.

» Read more: Executive coaching: Common Misconceptions

Neuroscience – Mind Blown

May 9th, 2013

I have a particular fascination for Neuroscience and understanding how the brain impacts on our behaviours, so this info graphic caught my eye the other day and I thought that I’d share it with you on my blog. It’s fundamentally a simplified and exploded view of the human brain detailing which parts of the brain controls which parts of the body as well as our emotional response to events that we encounter.

» Read more: Neuroscience – Mind Blown

20 more tips for Time Management

April 8th, 2013

TimeFurther to our earlier posting 20 Tips for Managing Time, Here are 20 more tips to help you be more effective in the way that you plan you day, week, month year.


TiMe Management is one of those topics that we can all find difficult to address at times. Am I perfect at managing my time or planning my day, no I’m not, but I do use the tools and tips below to help plan my day and manage my time more effectively. The key to changing most behaviour is awareness, so be aware of when you’re not effectively using your time, and then do something about it!


So to help you, pure and simple here is a list of 20 tips for managing time and setting yourself up for a productive day.


» Read more: 20 more tips for Time Management

Leading Meetings Effectively

March 27th, 2013

Do you regularly plan, organise or lead meetings either with your team or clients? Do you want a way of leading meetings effectively?Leading Meetings Effectively


If so, below you will find some top tips for leading meetings effectively to ensure that you are getting the maximum value from everyone that is present. After all, meetings are an expensive use of everyone’s time, so make them effective, make them work for you and your team.


» Read more: Leading Meetings Effectively