Being a freelancer means that you sometimes get thrown into situations that can be uncomfortable, challenging or downright nerve-wracking and it’s important to have a set of quick confidence boosters to dip into at a moment’s notice.
Last week I had the opportunity to see a master at work. Renowned communication skills trainer and coach Lisa Akesson has joined forces with Linked In as a member of their Skills Squad (think A-Team of business coaching) and gave a group of bloggers a taster workshop at Linked In’s London headquarters.
The Skills Squad, which includes former heavy weight champion Wladimir Klitschko, has been put together to offer training, support and advice as part of a drive to give Linked In a more personal face.
I believe that you have to sometimes push yourself out of your comfort zone in order to go further. Although it may feel uncomfortable and challenging at the time, it can give you greater confidence and can help broaden your skill-set . Lisa obviously holds this view too as we started our workshop with an exercise in which each of us stood in front of the group without speaking. It was just for a few seconds but was surprisingly tricky. My arms felt too floppy, my hands twitchy and my face rubbery. The urge to giggle nervously was almost uncontrollable.
Lisa went on to lead us through some strategies and skills to combat this discomfort which included physical exercises (striding around the room and finding out inner Wonder Woman) and how to make our point convincingly. All the claims were backed up by research which appeals to my inner teacher.
At the end of the session we repeated the exercise and it really did feel more comfortable. Not easy by any means but certainly easier.
The bottom line? It’s entirely possible to present the best version of ourselves and make the points we want to make by carving out a neat assertive path between passive and aggressive. What a treat to spend some time with like-minded women in a safe, supportive learning atmosphere!
For more information on Linked In’s Skills Squad search for #skillsSquad on Twitter or enter the competition to win two days of personal business training in Iceland (my fingers are tightly crossed for this one!)