The Power of You – a coaching and training programme to develop self-confidence
Research shows that the slow pace of women’s advancement to senior levels in organisations is an on-going issue and confirms the recommendation that coaching is made available for women earlier in their career.
For the last four years, UCan Training has been focused on designing and delivering the Power of You a coaching and training programme to develop self-confidence in young women. Originally commissioned by a forward-thinking international property consultancy, Gerald Eve, the Power of You programme, a three-day programme spread over three months, with groups of up to eight women, has consistently delivered positive results.
For one individual, raising awareness of automatic negative thoughts such as, ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I’m stupid’, helped her to become aware of negative thought patterns, which could then be addressed. For others, learning techniques to manage conflict and handle difficult conversations was very useful:
Yes, I have learned to have those uncomfortable conversations, I am much more ready for them, I’m not scared of them anymore. I was really at a point of doing anything to avoid these conversations, it’s given me an inner confidence.
Yes, massive change. I no longer avoid difficult people. I used to cancel a call and felt relieved, I no longer feel that way. This is my role and I have to deal with people, big learning from this coaching programme.
This builds on current thinking that self-belief gives women the confidence to speak up in meetings, have challenging difficult conversations, which in turn develops self esteem to apply for high quality jobs, which leads to progression within organisations.
One of the positive outcomes of a group coaching and training programme, is women enjoy hearing about other individual’s experiences. It confirms that they are not alone with their thoughts, that others felt the same way.
In the last couple of years we have started delivering public programmes of the Power of You; bringing together younger women from different organisations, with the added benefit of broader networking opportunities and the building of social capital. Social capital can be challenging for females to develop, which can be a potential barrier to career advancement. One person observed how the same thinking went across different organisations:
Really nice to hear other people’s viewpoints and experiences, from different organisations. Knowing that your issues are the same issues and that others feel the same, helps to normalise your thinking.
Staying connected through technology
The Power of You now includes a WhatsApp group, so participants can stay connected throughout the programme. Response from a previous programme when asked about what difference, if any, did it make being part of a WhatsApp group included:
It was great to keep up to date, better than email. Some people sharing their stories, that was encouraging, it makes you want to do that. Really helped with the idea of the group.
One participant used it to feedback to the group about a difficult conversation they were having the following day:
Allowed you to get to know people, relate to other people’s experiences. Made me feel happy, good luck messages from the whole group. When you shared experiences people were motivational, people cared about the group and were interested in how I resolved my issues.
Being part of a WhatsApp group, people feel connected; it is also a quicker way to communicate with the group than email.
If you are interested in taking your career to the next level, then do join us on the next Power of You group programme, which takes place on 27th September, 25th October and 22nd November. To find out more, please click on the link http://www.ucantraining.com/power-of-you.