Did you know you can ‘choose’ to be confident?

‘I feel bad when I speak mandarin with my customers. It’s not good enough.’

‘First off, How do you decide that your mandarin not good?’

‘I can’t do the whole call in mandarin. I’m speaking 80% mandarin and 20% English.’

‘What happens in the call? How much do your clients understand?’

‘They understand.’

‘So what’s the problem?’

‘I wanna speak better mandarin. I wanna do my calls in mandarin 100%.’

(Well now that we know what she wants, we have a target, it’s easier!)

‘What would it give you if you did the calls in mandarin 100%?’

‘I’d be more professional.’

‘So how can you prepare for the words you don’t know how to say in mandarin?’

‘I can look them up before.’

‘How would you know which words you don’t know?’


‘How about if you try what you learnt recently? Film yourself giving the presentation in mandarin, during which you have to use words that you may not know. And when you have to speak in English, take note of those words?’

‘True. That’d help!’

She’s noticeably happier.

‘What have we just done? What’s the process we just went through?’

‘Break down the paradigms. Evaluate their objectivity. Analyse their validity. Then identify what we want. Look for actions to get what we want. This helps us focus on what we can do rather than what we can’t do, so naturally we would be happier coz we are faced with the question of possibilities, not limitations!!’

Wow. Client came up with the profound realisation! #SelfCoaching!

Change the limiting paradigms to new paradigms.

You choose to be confident!

#ChooseConfidence #CoachingIsGold #HeightenedAwareness #ShiftYourMind #CommunicationCoaching #WhatIsCoaching #DemystifyCoaching

How can you be sure the reality you perceive is ‘real’?

Continued from previous conversation:

‘You can try to be more positive and appreciate others. It’s the way you look at the situation. You forget the good things he does. For example, you once told me he filled in the insurance claim form for you, coz that’s what he’s good at. He doesn’t read about the trip because he’s not good at that. He picks food and put food in your bowl. He knows your favourite part of chicken and put it in your plate. Actually he’s really good to you. You just don’t remember the good things. At the dinner in the restaurant, he said we should wait for you to order. He waits for you to make decisions.’


‘I said, “let’s order the fried rice.” He said, “let’s order the preserved meat rice instead. She likes that.’

‘It’s because he wants to eat that too! Not because of me.’

‘At Christmas dinner he put the wings in your bowl.’

‘Well.. that’s the least he can do..’

What does this show? It shows that we can choose to reject reality and project our own interpretation onto reality, which effectively dampens the way we see life! It shows that we can choose to be happy, if we choose to remember the good things that happen in our lives! It shows that happiness is a choice!

#ChooseHappiness #HeightenedAwareness #ShiftYourMind #CoachingIsGold

Do you ask for what you want? Are you sure?

‘He treats others better than he treats me. He puts me in the last priority. I do everything in the house.

I have to make the bread. Look I’m at home all day making the bread. Everyone is out! I’m always serving others. No one serves me!

I have to look up the route of the trip. I brought books back and he doesn’t read them.. I’m always doing al the planning!’

There’s no stopping! She goes on and on! After a while it was obvious that she’s just venting.

It suddenly came to my mind that this shows the problem of some of us.

It’s the way we ask for what we want.

We think we are asking for what we want, but the way others perceive it isn’t the case. They think we are complaining and moaning. They just switch off.

We nag. It’s not constructive!

How can you shift your language to make things happen?! Rather than focusing on what you are not happy about, how about what you want? Or have you forgotten to think about what you want? Next time you’re unhappy, how about stop, breathe, think for a second, ‘what do I want?’?

#CommunicationCoaching #CoachingIsGold

Are you also making this mistake and wasting your networking opportunities?

In a coaching conversation:
‘What did you talk about in the meeting with that new contact?’
‘He gave me advice.. he was like a coach.. he said I had to sell myself better.. he said I had to be clear about my career path.’ (Sounds like he wasted the meeting. The reason to meet wasn’t to get mentoring! It wasn’t to get advice! Pity. It was a promising lead. In the company he wanted, in the area he wanted, in the profession he wanted.)
‘What was the purpose of the meeting?’
‘It was so that he could give me advice on my past interview experience, because I applied for a few jobs in his area in that company but never got anywhere further.’
‘You only have one objective in every meeting. The objective is to let the other person know about who you are and what you can do, so they can tell other person about you. For example, I have this pen in front of me. If I don’t tell you about it, are you going to be interested in it?’
‘Because you don’t know what it can do. How about if you tell me about something that you love? Somewhere you love to go, something that you love to do?’
‘You just told me you love scotch. Which is your favourite?’
‘Balvenie!’ (This time he took half a second to come up with an answer!)
‘It’s delicious, it’s smooth, you can drink it without ice. It’s sweet but not
too sweet.’
‘How easy was it to tell me about it? How much did you feel like telling me? From 0-10. 10 is “I wanted to tell you”, 0 is “I didn’t want to tell you.”’.
‘Then it sounds like it’d be easy to talk about what you love, instead of thinking you have to sell yourself? How about if you tell me what you love about sales?’
‘It’s about winning. It’s not just about knowing what your customers want, but what your competitors are telling them. It’s about building a good relationship with your customers, gaining their trust, so they will give you intel to help you make a more attractive proposal.’
‘Great! Tell me an example when that happened.’
‘I had a client who worked with a partner who’s much smaller than us. They were 3 times cheaper. The client said “we are only a small local bank. We have no money.” Well they are still a bank and I know they had to update the infrastructure. I brought in different resources to put value-add in our proposal. I knew there were price pressures from the CIO, so I set up a meeting with the architect to explain why we’re giving them all the additional elements. In the end they said “this is the last time we’re paying this much.” But we still managed to sell them 3 more projects.’
This time, he told a great story! First time! Usually it’s so hard it’s like getting blood out of a stone! This time, it draws people in! He was excited and natural! He was being himself, unlike the other times! I was excited!
‘That’s a great story! Don’t think of it as a story if that’d make life difficult for you. Just think about sharing an example! This is what you have to do in every meeting. You are just talking, having a chat with a friend, not “selling”! Thinking that you are selling only stops you from being able to say anything at all!’
He nodded in agreement.
‘What did you learn from this story telling experience?’
‘That I have to focus on talking about what I love, so I can let my passion out, then make an impression.’

Try this and make every networking opportunity a success!

#CoachingIsGold #HeightenedAwareness
#ShiftYourMind #CommunicationCoaching
#WhatIsCoaching #DemystifyCoaching

Is this also stopping you from being able to share ideas and grow?

In a coaching session last week:

Client: ‘I feel nervous in presentations.’

Me: ‘What do you say to yourself during a presentation?’

After a long silence, she said, ‘I ask myself “is my English good enough..? Am I clear enough? Oh I forgot the word.. Oh am I using the right word?” Today I wanna talk about whether I need to take English class.’

‘There are a few things. First, when you say ‘I didn’t go to an International school. That’s why I don’t have a natural accent.” is this a problem or a solution?’

‘It’s neither.’

‘How about if I say it’s a fact from the past that we can’t change anymore. That’s why we’re upset when we think about it. It does nothing but drains our energy. Instead, how about if we focus on what we can change?’

I probe further, ‘How do you decide your English is not good?’

‘I don’t use fancy words. I receive emails from colleagues and they use fancy words. That’s cool. When I see the new words, I look them up, write them down, so I can use them next time.’

‘Right! Sounds like you are doing the right thing already!’


‘What evidence do you have that shows that your English isn’t good?’


‘Sounds like you have none? What evidence do you have that shows that this thought might not accurately reflect reality?’

‘My customers know what I’m talking about. My colleagues have said I’m good.’

‘That means this statement “My English isn’t good” isn’t true?’


‘And how did you decide that fancy words means you are an effective communicator?’


‘What’s the percentage of people who you work with, or your clients, is native English speakers?’


‘If you used fancy words, how many of them would actually know what you mean?’


‘If you were them, and you spoke with someone who used big words you can’t understand, how would you feel?’


‘What would you really care about if you were your customers?’

‘That they go through what I need quickly. Direct and simple. I have no time.’


‘Actually I use simple English.’

‘And how has it worked?’

‘It’s easy to understand.’

‘So what’s wrong with that? Why do you have to copy others? Why can’t you be yourself?’


‘Do you still think you need to take English class?’


What’s your experience? What’s stopping you?
#HeightenedAwareness #ShiftYourMind #CommunicationCoaching #EmpowerWomen #DevelopWomen #ChooseConfidence #CoachingIsGold #WhatIsCoaching #DemystifyCoaching

Is your focus making you unhappy?

A 60-year-old lady who likes to receive compliments and recognitions for her effort has just put some house plants in the bathroom to decorate a little. She asked her son, ‘what do you think about the new plants?!’

Her son, who likes to offer his opinion and tends to be critical, replied, ‘they’re a little girly. Too colourful for my taste.’

Maybe he’s right about the plants themselves. Maybe they’re not his type. But how about the bigger picture, from a bathroom with no plants previously to one that’s got plants now? Why does life always have to be ‘too much or too little’? Can’t it be just good enough? Can’t we just be content about all there is?

We can be subjective and have an opinion about something. We can truly believe we are right at different moments. We can have tunnel vision. Life can be divided into ‘this is not nice’, ‘that’s nice’. But this seems to only create grief when we think that whatever is different to our taste is ’not good’. It only makes us unhappy. But actually what’s going on in reality is just that things are different from our expectations. If we look at it objectively, then it could be a nice change to have a plant in the bathroom compared to before when there was no plant.

Do we choose to be miserable sometimes?

What do you choose to think?

#ChooseToBeHappy #ShiftYourMind #FocusOnPositives

How do I know what’s special about me..? :(

Got to work with a pilot this week! Excited! He came through to me for interview coaching. *It’s funny how I saw him completely differently when I found out he was a captain! A captain!!!*

‘Why should I hire you?’

‘I have the professional certificate, the medical certificate, the experience, the papers.’

*Again.. general answers..!*

‘What do you think you’ve got that others don’t? I mean, there are so many pilots out there who got pass the first round!’

‘I’m motivated, passionate, dedicated. I’m responsible.’

Ok.. not quite satisfied with the lame generalities.. I asked, ‘imagine you were the company hiring managers. What do you see in this guy that gets your attention over the other ones?’

‘Well.. actually this is one of the questions I found hard to answer.’

‘Ok. Let’s try a different one. What have your boss and colleagues said about you?’

‘Hum.. they said I’m ahead of the game. That I’m well prepared. That I got the weather report before the captain even thought of it.’

‘Right! So you have foresight.’

Next time, when you have problem knowing what’s special about you, ask yourself, ‘what have others I worked with said about me? What would they say about me if they were asked?’


Are you in the right mindset for job interviews?

Client: ‘I went for the interview. They asked me if I knew about certain artists. They mentioned this long Italian name that I’d never heard of! That’s when I thought, I wish I’d studied history of art! So I didn’t get that job..’

Me: ‘Next time, don’t worry about what you don’t know. Focus on talking about what you are good at! E.g. “I can get you more sales because I can gain people’s trust quickly.” That’s a skill that they can’t easily find! It doesn’t matter if we don’t have the knowledge of the subject matter – even an art historian wouldn’t know about every single artist! In many countries, candidates are recognised for their ability to learn, rather than what they already know, because the world is changing so quickly that our skill set gets obsolete if we don’t keep updating ourselves!’

What would you have said in your interview if asked about knowledge / experience that you don’t have?

#ShiftYourMind #FocusOnWhatYouHave

Are you making this mistake in interviews too?

This week a friend of mine had a job interview and wanted to grab lunch with me to practice for it.

We just sat down, she didn’t wait, ‘ask me questions, Jess.’ I obliged. I asked a few questions. But she was struggling to find anything to say about herself. She struggled to find the words. So I said, ‘try to speak to me, not thinking that you’re in an interview.’

When she stopped because she was looking for the perfect word (she could have said ‘goal’), she struggled to pick herself up and get back. I noticed that she might have been beating herself up, having an unconstructive internal monologue, maybe something like ‘I suck. My English is terrible.’

So I said, ‘Hey, look, you know what, there’s a common misconception that having a good English level means speaking very fast like Americans. Some people take longer to put their ideas together and it’s important to recognise that doesn’t mean your English is poor, that only means your style is different.’

That night, I texted her, ‘the word for you is “confidence”, not “English”.

I hadn’t joined the dots at that time but now I realised that she’s perhaps another slight introvert who just takes time to form her own ideas.

Sometimes we forget what the task is. If we focus on what we need to do instead of evaluating how well we’re doing at the same time, then we’ll be fine. The truth is, in a meeting, in real time, our brains are not designed to think what we need to do, how well we are doing, and how people think about us, all at the same time!!! What we need to do instead is be mindful. Do one thing at a time.

That’s just too much going on and no one human being would be able to juggle all that multi-tasking at the same time! It’s a mistake for most of us to speak and judge ourselves at the same time! If we can put aside the judging, even to delay it to post-event, that would stop us from feeling nervous! Our society has conditioned us to constantly evaluate our performance. That’s common among high achievers. And that’s ok, as long as we don’t do it at the same time as we are presenting!

Are you also living a ‘fake’ life at work?

I recently got a new client who broke down and started crying in our first coaching session. 😮 It was a nervous breakdown. Upon some digging it seems that her problem is not communication, but confidence. I heard paradigms (self-talk, beliefs) that don’t help her, e.g. ‘I need to look good in front of my boss.’ ‘My English is not good enough.’

It also became clear that she may be an introvert who is even less likely to be outspoken, even in her own language. But instead of being herself, she’s trying to play the role of a ‘successful leader’, e.g. articulate, vocal, speak fast, dominant, an extrovert.

After a few coaching sessions, she realised her strategy was to be herself and do the things that she’s comfortable with, e.g. prepare in advance for meetings, write things down, propose ideas to her manager, let the boss lead meetings and promote her ideas, so she can observe in meetings instead.

I’m so happy to see her smiling!

Instead of subscribing to behaviours that are socially perceived to be successful, what feels authentic to you? What roles can you play instead?