Assertiveness has never been one of my strong points. Bossiness, yes – ask my husband and 5 year old. Over-zealousness, yes – ask any of my previous managers. Drive, yes – ask my clients and project teams. But I’ve long struggled with being, what I consider to be, truly assertive because in some situations I lack confidence. This is not because I don’t know what I’m talking about, because if I don’t know I’m happy to say I don’t know. This is more about confidence related to assertiveness when it comes to certain situations in business and in life.
A while back I took part in a leadership and business growth program and in one of the modules we watched a TED Talk given by social psychologist and Associate Professor at Harvard Business School Amy Cuddy. In the video she talks through some research done on posture and how it can affect the way we think. I was a little skeptical about this, even with the research, but I tried it. And it works for me. Every time.
Watch the video and see what you think.
So why am I sharing this with you? There are three reasons:
- As learning professionals, in whatever capacity, you have to deal with SMEs, learners, project teams and stakeholders on a daily basis. In many instances, people with less knowledge about how people learn will try and enforce their views on you and your projects. In order to maintain your integrity as a professional and achieve results for the learners and the business you will need to push back, be assertive and get your point across. And you need confidence to do that.
- You may know someone who could benefit from this information to help them in their work, whether that be an individual or group of people participating in a learning exercise. Could you include this video in eLearning or as a resource in a course or personal development program?
- At the end of the day we are all human beings and we all have times when we need a bit of a confidence boost, dutch courage or whatever you want to call it. This is a tool you can add to your own confidence toolkit.
Of course, I fully appreciate that people’s reasons for lacking confidence can be quite deep-seated. I’m not for a moment suggesting that this is a 2 minute makeover for anyone’s psychological makeup. What I am saying though is that this video, the research behind it and my own personal experience have proved that we can change how we think by how we use our body. And that is something we can consider using in our personal lives, in our careers and in helping create meaningful and practical learning experiences for others.
Thank you, Veronica de Paoli for this and everything else I learned from you. 🙂
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