What makes a great place to work or live?

There are countless studies that have been done and probably are being done, on what makes a great work place. Ranging from the physical environment; plants, lighting, ergonomic chairs, acoustics, colours. To the psychology of human relationships, communication and dynamics. And more. 

As my specialism is confidence, the focus of this post is how to create a great place to work through developing a confidence culture. And whilst it may have a slant toward the work place, all these principles can be applied to the home too! 

These principles are accessible and easy for all to apply. The impact is that people have been more motivated during times of change and have experienced less stress and tension too. 

The following principles are used during my in person trainings to create a great atmosphere for training and learning. You can also find out more about them in my online audio programme leading with belief 

Principle #1 

For a confidence culture to exist there has to be space to explore. This can work in a number of ways;

  • Being able to explore and understand more of what colleagues and the people around us do. 
  • Attending higher level meetings. (in the home this could be including younger members of the family on discussions about holidays, days out, the home environment) 
  • Being given the opportunity to add their thoughts to a report or project or discussion. 
  • Having the space to explore their ideas through a coaching or mentoring programme. 

It doesn’t have to be a huge overnight transformation. This space can be created incrementally. And this exploration can create openness, purpose, appreciation and recognition. It gives people a true sense of being heard and being part of something, rather than a cog in a machine. 

And whilst you can not give someone confidence, you can show them that you have confidence in them by creating a nurturing culture like this. 

Principle #2 

It’s OK to make mistakes.  

Let’s immediately put this into perspective, there are some mistakes that have ‘messy’ outcomes. And being part of a ‘messy outcome’ when a pilot, accountant, surgeon or the like have made a mistake, is not where I would want to be. 

However, these mistakes can be helpful when looked at and used in a resourceful manner. Black box thinking by Matthew Syed is a great read to learn more. 

For a confidence culture to exist, we are looking at ‘everyday’ mistakes and creating an environment where it is OK to make mistakes and potentially ask the ‘stupid’ questions is important (and I get that there is a limit to how many and their severity). It may sound counterintuitive, but these conditions free people to think in a more innovative manner, as there is less pressure to be right/get it right or be perfect. Perfectionism is a moving goal, often with very little, if any, reward. It actually harbours a higher level of insecurity, fear and lack of confidence. 

An environment where it is ‘safe’ to own up, to learn from and correct mistakes, cultivates trust, which in turn creates confidence, whether that be at work or in the home! 

Principle #3 

Be supportive and supported. 

This sounds simple and yet so few people do both. 

There are those that are great at giving support yet don’t ask for it (see recent blog post) for more on that.

And there are those that ask for more support than they give. 

This isn’t about judging where you are. Nor about making yourself right or wrong. Just notice. If you were to put yourself on a spectrum of supportive and supported, where would you be this week? 

Are you closer to one end or the other? Or in the middle? 

Is that working for you? In other words, how is this impacting your confidence? 

And how is that impacting the people around you? Your colleagues? Family? Friends? 

Again this isn’t about making it right or wrong. It is about being aware and looking to see how that behaviour impacts the culture that you are part of. 

We all need support. It doesn’t have to come from your peers. Every successful business person, professional, sports person, musician, artist etc all have either coaches or mentors, or both. Even Russell Brand has them and has just written a book about it! 

Without a supportive and supported network, we run the risk of being blind sighted to our behaviours and arrogant to the impact our thinking has on ourselves and others. 


Principle #4 

Seek others perspectives. 

You may have noticed by now that none of this is particularly new or ground breaking. As My mum would say, it’s common sense. But common sense is often not common practise. 

Reading a newspaper that has opposing views to your own gives insight to another world. One that unless we look for, we do not see. We get stuck in our own world views and surround ourselves with like minded people. 

It’s natural. 

It’s human. 

Tribal. 

And can be very limiting. 

And if we are not mindful of this, social media and it’s many algorithms, can perpetuate this. 

As a coach, my role is to do my best to ‘get’ my clients perspective. Walk around with them in that perspective. Seek to understand. And then if appropriate we can look for other perspectives. 

And often this other perspective can spark the light bulb statement ‘I’ve never thought of it that way before’ And this is life changing. 

In the working environment, seeking to understand others perspectives creates a culture of caring. It doesn’t mean you have to agree. But simply seek to understand their world view, by being open and curious yourself, you help nurture this at work too. 

Principle #5 

Speak and be heard. Shut up and listen. 

My guess is that you will immediately know which of these you find easy and which is a challenge. A true confidence culture provides the space for both. 

There are many reasons why someone may not be speaking up. If you are that person you can start doing small steps to speaking out and being heard. 

In meetings for example you can make a commitment to yourself to always say something, maybe by echoing someone else’s point – that way you don’t have to come up with something new simply “I agree with the point Deborah made about….’ 

Or you can highlight the action you are going to take as a result of the conversation or simply saying thank you to the chair for hosting. 

It doesn’t have to be a full on speech. 

It is your responsibility to start speaking up. 

And, if you are someone that finds talking easy, then help those that don’t, by shutting up and listening. Having delivered and participated in 100’s of workshops it is obvious the impact that a talker can have on the group. 

If you are the talker, stop. 

Not forever. 

By stopping you are creating the space for others to step-in. 

And they may need that space. So be patient. 

You can also help them by inviting their opinion or views. The key with this, is that you listen to them, without judgement and certainly without interrupting.  

This, like principle #3, is on a spectrum. Check in with yourself, is what I am doing right now helping me to create a confidence culture? 

Regardless of the size of the organisation or team, these 5 principles, when used consistently, can create a great place to work and will nurture a confidence culture where we can all thrive. 

To find out more about creating a confidence culture whether in the home or the work place you can contact me direct jules@juleswyman.com

Creating a confidence culture is an excerpt from the  www.leadingwithbelief.co.uk  course.

Click the link to find out more details.

*** IF you are reading this between 17 – 30 April 2019 then CLICK HERE for the SPRING Sale!