Tips for Finding Courage – Training Day Takeaways

On Friday 10th December, our team had the pleasure of receiving courage coaching from Jude Bolton, Founder and Director of Speaking Works. This session focused on techniques to influence our physical and mental state to help with courage as well as how to manage difficult conversations. Although the session had to be held virtually due to immediate ‘work from home’ protocol, it was a beneficial session that taught me the how to elevate my confidence in any situation. There were multiple highlights to this session which I will share which are great methods for courageous conversation.

1) Remember to take long pauses

One of the key takeaways for me was to remember that the feeling of discomfort when pausing is a good thing! Reflecting on the experience of public speaking means we often speak faster with little pauses due to nerves. Therefore, it is important to take some pauses so the listeners can understand and digest what you are saying as well as giving yourself time to think and slow down!

2) People’s resting faces – they don’t mean it!

Speaking on zoom is sometimes more daunting than speaking in person and often, we take people’s concentration faces to reflect what they feel towards what we are saying. I loved that Jude highlighted this point as too often, we internalize what people’s facial expressions show to mean that we are not interested or unpleased – but really, they just have an unrelated resting face.

3) Change your autopilot

Jude highlighted the importance of ‘changing your autopilot’, referring to our coping tactics when confronted with a stressful situation. Therefore, to break out of such thinking patterns, we should create a list of action words that prompt us to leaving our ‘autopilot’ mindset. Such words include, ‘grounded’, ‘breathe’, ‘slow’, ‘sit up’ to help regain control of our feelings of worry and confront negative emotions. I found this point to be insightful as in my experience of feeling nervous, I rarely acknowledge my ‘autopilot’ state which in turn, affects my control over my worries.

4) You’re valid – say ‘I feel’

The last part of the session covered how to discuss how to face difficult conversations and how to articulate your feelings in uncomfortable circumstances. One of my key takeaways was to remember to acknowledge your feelings of discomfort and share this with the person you are in conversation with. This resonated with me as it can be easy to overlook your own emotions in the name of ‘professionalism’. Yet, articulating your feelings is important to the process of finding a resolution. Jude gave the instance of how sharing your feelings of frustration can give you permission to leave that conversation for you to revisit when you are in a better state of mind, thus, not future increasing tensions. Overall, this last session was particularly enjoyable as we learnt how courage does not always come in the form of speaking up publicly, it can also be walking away from a hostile situation or addressing your feelings to resolve an issue.

Courage coaching is something that will always be important to our personal and professional development in reinforcing the ways in which courage can present itself to how to control feelings of fear. Jude delivered a fantastic session which will have a lasting impression on me as it has taught me how to practice confidence and use this to push my boundaries to achieve success!

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