So, what's it all about?

Welcome to the NEW Business Backstage series on the Mindset and Method podcast!

So many conversations happen behind the scenes my Immersive Coaching Experience, Altitude, as my team of business growth experts and I chat about all things mindset, business simplicity and sales, we knew we just had to record them so you could listen in.

No-where else can you take such a detailed peek behind the curtains of a business growth experience than right here on ‘Business Backstage’...

In this episode, we have a special guest, Emma Jenkings, who is a workplace mediator and assertiveness coach. Emma brings her expertise to the table as we dive into the importance of assertiveness in business growth.

Confident and clear communication is a crucial factor in any successful business, and assertiveness plays a key role in achieving this. We explore how being assertive allows individuals to express their thoughts and needs effectively, leading to better relationships and increased opportunities.

Perception has a significant impact on our thoughts and behaviors, and we delve into how women, in particular, need to understand their self-image when starting businesses. We discuss how societal judgment and childhood experiences can shape our beliefs about success and ambition. It is essential for women to challenge these limiting beliefs and empower themselves to reach their full potential.

But it doesn't stop at understanding. We emphasise the importance of taking action and experiencing situations to become more assertive. By stepping into desired roles and facing challenges head-on, individuals can grow and develop their assertiveness.

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Hello and welcome to the Business Backstage series here on the Mindset and Method podcast. Business Backstage is where I invite my incredible associate coaches, the ladies who work with me on my Altitude Immersive Coaching experience, to chat about what's going on in the business world right now. Our conversations are designed to help you fast-track yourself to your next big business goal instead of having to figure it all out by yourself.

So what's Altitude? Altitude is how I work with my clients to turn their stressful, over-complicated, passion-led ventures into enjoyable, easy-to-run and consistently profitable businesses. I do this with the support of an amazing team of associate coaches who we pull in to give that extra level of expertise and support for our clients. And these incredible ladies are the ones who will feature here on Business Backstage.

Okay, let's dive in. Thanks so much for listening to Business Backstage, the series where I invite my associate coaches to chat about what's going on in the business world right now, so you don't have to figure it all out for yourself. I'm super excited today because we are joined by one of my amazing Altitude coaches, the lovely Emma Jenkins, who is a mediator and an assertiveness coach.

So we've got a really, really juicy topic for you. But before we dive in, I want to hand over to Emma so that she can introduce herself to you and tell you what she does. Well, hello, and thank you again for having me on. I'm excited to be part of this amazing podcast. I know it gets such great feedback, so I'm really pleased to be one of the people who gets to come on and talk with you. So I am a workplace mediator.

That's my primary role in my career. So I go into conflicts in the workplace, disputes that people are having. Essentially, I get brought in to all sorts of organizations for all sorts of issues that are going on. And I help facilitate pretty tricky conversations so that people feel heard and hopefully we can get to some good outcomes that feels like a win-win for everyone in the room by the end of the process. And in doing that, I think I just really fell into the fascination with people even more and more and communication and the power of words and assertiveness was a topic that just seemed to crop up in my eyes quite a lot in these situations. And so I started doing a lot more work specifically around assertiveness. And so I did coaching training around conflict and I focus on assertiveness quite a lot with my coaching clients. And I'm thrilled to be able to be the assertiveness coach and supporting the altitude clients as well. So it's been fabulous to be part of altitude and to be able to support the clients along their business growth journey is amazing. Amazing. And do you know what I've often thought about you, Emma, is that I would love to be a fly on the wall.

You know that term, fly on the wall. Yeah. You just hear other people's conversations and what they get up to and some of the stuff that you mediate. I've really often thought, oh my God, I would love to be a fly on Emma's wall.

Like that would just be incredible. And I know you've done some like disc profiling and stuff for us inside altitude as well, which has just been so incredible. So if you haven't heard about disc profiling, it's all about the different communication styles and understanding your own communication styles and the communication style of the people that you're talking to.

And that is absolutely fascinating. Maybe we'll get you on again for another session about that, because that I was just blown away by. I loved what we did in altitude on that. But anyway, today we are here to really talk about assertiveness and how important it is in terms of business growth. And as an assertiveness coach on altitude, we obviously work with ladies who really want to get to that next level with their business.

So maybe that industry leader level. So my first question, I suppose, to you is what do you think the biggest barrier is to really stepping up to that kind of a level? And how do you think assertiveness fits in with that? I think assertiveness is one of those words that has quite mixed reactions from people because they view assertiveness. And so for me to define that quickly, it's for me, it's being able to communicate confidently and clearly. And so I think when you're a business owner, that skill becomes really vital when you're first starting out and you're talking about your business to other people, when you are even thinking about, I'm going to do this, and being able to stand by what you want to do and communicate that to the people around you who may, you know, your family and friends who may need to support you a little bit in that journey, the people you reach out to. And so when you're first starting out, the thing that can hold people back, I think, is how they feel about how they are communicating.

If someone feels like I'm just, I'm getting it all wrong. My words come out in a real rush of just gobbledygook when I'm telling people about my business. But it's a business that you really care about that can really have a knock on effect on your confidence and your motivation to keep talking about it, keep telling people about it. And when you first start a business, that's generally what every business person has to do is just go and tell everyone and get it kind of broadcast to as many people as possible. So to the assertive skills of being able to communicate about your business in a way that not only is confident, that is clear. You can clearly talk about your idea, how other people can get involved, what they can buy from you, what you don't do.

So you don't end up drifting off of the path. All of those things around assertiveness, if you're feeling unconfident or you're not feeling clear in how you communicate, then it can be a real block to progressing your business and making those changes to grow your business even more. Yeah, absolutely. And I think when you're kind of stepping up to that next level, that then becomes even more important because you're potentially moving to a higher ticket offer. You're kind of stepping into the energy of an industry leader. So you have to portray that it's almost certainty about yourself and confidence about yourself that you know what you're doing.

You can deliver amazing results. You are well worth the value of whatever you're pitching at. And all of this stuff, I think when you're starting out, it's about chatting about your business and getting used to presenting yourself as a business owner. And then when you hit that next level, it's another step beyond that. It's then presenting yourself as an industry leader and as someone with a really a high ticket offer that is a high price as well as high impact, high transformation.

So that then becomes kind of even more important. Do you agree with that? Absolutely. And I think it's business related, but also the support system you have outside of your business as well. And I think as people who run a business and are women, and we have often this nurturing side where we're looking after everyone else and making sure that everyone else is OK. And so it's really important to have those asserting skills, not just when you're talking to clients or suppliers, but also when you're talking to the people who are going to be supporting you, who perhaps you've done a lot for and supported them in different ways. And maybe there's going to be a shift in how you do that in future because of needing to up level what you're doing. And it may not be that you're spending more time in your business. Perhaps that's a factor, because I know when I started getting busier, I had I had to spend more time, not to the point of burnout, obviously, but I had to spend a bit more time. So I had to kind of go, actually, this task, I need a bit of support with this task I need you to do. And so those assertiveness skills can be really important for making sure that there are these kind of outside barriers that perhaps could be getting in the way as well.

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think there's this thing around ambition as well. It comes into this. I think if you are like a lot of our altitude clients, a highly ambitious female business owner, when you're talking about your support structure, sometimes that comes across or sometimes you can be worried about coming across as ambitious because typically we're taught as British females to play down our ambition and to be grateful for what we have and you know, not to be super ambitious. Sometimes that can be in conflict with being a mum or, you know, supporting other people or being a female.

So I guess that brings us on to that. My second question really, really nicely, actually, and that's around the stories that we tell ourselves and how these almost stop or limit us from from stepping up. And I think ambition is a big part of that, you know, as a highly ambitious female, sometimes we might feel that that's frowned upon by different people. And that's where assertiveness comes in and the stories that we tell ourselves that allow us to feel into that ambition and be proud and unapologetic about what we want to achieve and how we want to get there and how we kind of portray ourselves. So tell us a bit more about how kind of those stories that we tell ourselves can really hold us back. And I think, you know, this is one of the things that really fascinated me when I was first mediating as well, is that how different people perceive different words and how that kind of takes its own meaning on itself and how that can impact then thoughts and behaviors. And and then again, can confirm how you see yourself because of those behaviors that are flowing through from that. So if you think about the word success or powerful, you know, when you say it, it's like a real, you know, impact behind those words.

They're quite punchy words. And and so it can feel like if you attach those words to yourself that you are then needing to step out into the limelight, like you're going to be taking over some space. Yeah. And and I think that we are used to kind of holding space for other people so often as women. And so it can feel like, you know, with the assertiveness stuff, you know, I talked about how different people perceive that word. Some people refrain from being assertive because they actually they don't want to be confrontational. They don't want to be aggressive. Essentially, they don't want to be unkind or selfish. And if they feel like assertiveness is that or can kind of bring that in, then that can be a conflict with how they see themselves, that they're kind of self story. And so I think when when women are going out and creating these businesses, it really helps to be aware of how you see yourself, because it's amazing the impact that that story can have on then how you think, how you behave and then how you feel about yourself as well. A bit of a continuous loop, really, if you don't kind of like dig in there and see actually, how do I feel about myself?

Do I think that success is all positive or am I attaching some kind of negative meaning to what that says about me, what it says about my life, whether I'm capable of doing that. The number of people that I coach in assertiveness who feel like they can't possibly be that way because they know a couple of people in their life who are very assertive in a lot of spheres and they see that about them that, well, I can't be them. And so it's getting them to understand that assertiveness for you may look very different. You don't have to be shouty to be assertive. You don't have to be selfish to be assertive. I would argue that assertiveness really comes across beautifully when someone is just confidently stepping into this is what I stand by and being able to express that in a way that doesn't have to shout other people down, but just make sure that your voice is heard. Yeah, absolutely.

I love that. I love that so much because when you were saying things like success and power, for me, they're really exciting words. You're talking about creating that space for yourself to be powerful and successful. For me, as a mindset coach and business strategist, I'm really comfortable with those words. I love those words. They're part of who I am and what I want to create with altitude. But I also know that's not the same for everybody. There might be people listening, there are going to be people listening to this episode going, that's really freaking scary. That and attaching a lot of negativity to words like power and success. When we talk about money being financially wealthy and creating generational wealth for our children, all of these things fill a lot of us with excitement, but a lot other of us with complete negativity or dread or really shy away from those.

That was the first thing that, yeah, really, really wanted to pick up. I think as well, in terms of sales, there's another one. What does the word sales bring up for you? We have an incredible sales coach on altitude. You say the word sales to her, and she lights up.

She loves everything to do with sales. That's what we teach in altitude, in terms of loving sales, loving the sales process, loving the sales energy, loving the word and what it means, loving your price, but asking for money in exchange for what you know you can deliver. All of these stories that we tell ourselves around these words and these concepts of what we want to become are so, so, so important. The other element to that I was thinking about when I was listening to you talk is where that comes from. Where do these negative associations with these words or scenarios come from?

Typically, we've got to look back at the history. Things like self-limiting beliefs and stories that we form about ourselves or beliefs that we have about ourselves are typically formed in childhood. Going back and really understanding what was our parents' view of the words power, success, money, sales, wealth, where does this story come from? Understanding the history is really crucial to be able to shift those beliefs and change those.

Do you find that when you're working with people as well? For sure. I would say that in mediations, it's always interesting that people often reflect on their childhood during the one-to-one time that I spend with them during the process. They'll talk about how the other person may remind them of a situation they had, maybe a school bully they had. They'll talk about the arguments they perhaps had or witnessed as a child with their parents. The way that we see our adults around us deal with conflict and how they communicate really does influence what we think is okay. You have not seen people express frustration but then have it listened to and heard and then they resolve the issue. If you've not witnessed that and instead people just part ways and don't talk about it and then there's just this hidden tension that everyone knows about but no one's speaking about, then it can feel like actually to say out loud, I don't like this is a real negative, unkind thing to do. Similarly, if you've been in an explosive household where everything explodes, everything is big and loud and very chaotic when there's an issue, then you may not want to be like that because that just feels quite unsafe. I think the stories we tell ourselves about what is okay and often is reflected from what we experienced as a child and what seems to be deemed as this is acceptable, this is not acceptable and this is kind, this is not kind.

Sometimes we don't even realize that that's what's influencing our present behavior, our present thought patterns but it very often is. Absolutely. I think this links to not just what's kind and what's acceptable but some of the more subtle things like what people are going to judge. If you come out as a person wanting lots of money, wanting lots of success, being really ambitious, it's then the stories we tell ourselves about what other people are going to think about that.

Are people going to judge that? What have you witnessed in your history that has led you to the belief that people are going to judge that? Were you a bit kind of a bossy show-off little kid and your parents constantly told you, you shouldn't show off, you shouldn't tell people what you've got, you shouldn't tell people why you're better than people. There's a key message in that from your parents but sometimes that can really put a dampener on people's ambition and that shows up for them in adulthood and especially in entrepreneurship as you can't boast about what you do, you can't be unapologetic about wanting more, you should be grateful for what you have.

It's all those added subtleties as well. That phrase that a lot of people talk about is that sometimes in life there are people around you who kind of maybe without realizing dim your light. I quite like this idea of you see displays where there are people with candles and one person has a candle and it just kind of passes along and the light gets bigger and bigger and I think that's how it would be really beautiful for women to see success and you know owning a business and really standing by it is that you don't have to put out someone's candle to be bright that actually when you glow it can make other people around you glow as well.

Absolutely, it's like that ripple effect isn't it? Like you glow and you make someone else glow and the community glow just gets brighter and brighter and brighter. Absolutely, absolutely love that and I think what chatting to you today has highlighted is how important mindset is as a part of business growth. Like this really is one of the biggest things that we see in Altitude that holds people back is the stories that they tell about themselves that the beliefs that they have about themselves the beliefs that they have about their financial goals or success all of that and this is why you know it's constantly said you know 80% of success is mindset you know I've even heard that 90 now percent of success or wealth or growth is is about mindset and it's only that fraction that's about strategy so yeah 100% love what we're talking about and I think this really highlights that point and I think that leads me into my final question which is all about what tips we can give people to help them to step up to that next level and get comfortable with the uncomfortable of being more assertive and and portraying yourselves at that level to to make that become a reality for you and getting rid of those stories that that we tell ourselves about ourselves that aren't doing us any favors so you know what would be your main tip here or tips about helping people to overcome what we've been talking about and really step up to that next level?

I think there's two main things that I think really help. First is to get curious about yourself and the decisions that you're making and what may be holding you back from saying yes to a decision that you kind of would like to go for but there's something getting in the way. Often we can just think well it's this practical thing it's you know it's money it's time it's you know that schedule doesn't work for me it can feel very logical actually so often our decisions do have some element of mindset and emotion attached to to why we're saying yes or why we're saying no so it's definitely worth just figuring out is there something deeper than than the practical stuff as to why I may be holding back from making a change in my business or growing and expanding. The second tip that I would probably say is to realize that sickness is not something that just kind of you know a genie drops a a nice little dropper of assertiveness potion on you and suddenly boom you're assertive and you can do the thing but actually assertiveness comes from yes I I do help people work through some shifts but doing the things and experiencing it and learning from that is often a massive part of that journey to being more assertive and stepping into you know we talked about this before stepping into the energy before you feel like you've got it 100% because it could be the action that ends up making you feel ready and so for me sometimes I'm coaching around having quite tricky conversations with other people and the client may start off by wanting to have this big outcome that they want to achieve but I try and start small just have the conversation and see what you learn during and you know I'll prepare a bit more than that but you know yeah yeah and in terms of the goal it's to have the conversation to just do it and see what you learn from it and then we can go from there but doing the thing is often a really key step in becoming better at a certain skill. Absolutely and I think if we're talking about stepping up as an industry leader which has kind of been a common theme for this episode it's exactly the same if you think about the term industry leader that's not a practical thing that's not a measurable thing that's a feeling and so to be able to create that feeling you have to step into that energy you have to take the action that sets you out as an industry leader you have to see yourself as an industry leader before anyone else will see you as an industry leader and I think when I'm talking to clients about this sometimes there's this belief that they will do something and then other people will kind of tell them oh you're an industry leader you're leading the industry you're a big player and you're kind of almost waiting for somebody else to make that a reality for you where in reality it's a feeling you need to give yourself before anyone else will see you like that and that doesn't always come straight away does it yeah yeah and you have to give that to yourself first before anyone else will see you as that it's like setting your boundaries it's like being assertive if you don't do that first nobody else will think of you that way and that will make it even harder to then step into that energy so yeah doing the action and thinking to yourself if I was this person what would happen next if I was this person how would I handle this situation rather than just thinking oh my god how am I gonna handle this situation it's like if I was an assertive you know industry leader leader in my field if I was at that level that I want to be at what action would I be taking and then trying to push yourself out of that comfort zone into more of the action that you know that sort of person would take because the more you do that the more you normalize being that person and the more you create the belief that that is who you are and that's really how you make it happen is that something you agree with? For sure and I'd say personally that's my experience you know if it helps for your listeners to know I was a really shy child at school most of my primary school years that was always on my reports my school reports was how shy I was you know Emma's clever if only she'd speak up and say what she thinks yeah no I was pretty confident that at school I was so shy and retiring and it really took a lot of inward work and building that strength learning some skills that didn't feel natural to me to be more assertive and to learn those things along the way so I'm an assertiveness coach who gets what it's like to not feel assertive I get it because that was me and still sometimes I have to remind myself in certain situations which would make me kind of revert back to just just not speaking up I use those skills those techniques on myself and so so yes I'd say that that so often that action is really important and that's what helps you get that mindset sometimes and that's incredible to like hear where you were and now where you are it's like you know those teachers saying to you oh you know she's so clever she could go a long way if only she spoke up now you're an assertiveness coach you teach other people how to speak up so through doing that inner work that's the shift and the transformation that you've had and I see this time and time again actually the people with the real passion for what they do quite often nine times out of ten there's a story there of self-development self-growth that has made them absolutely love what they do and that's why they're so passionate about it and you we see this rinse and repeated with entrepreneurs all the time I think to be an entrepreneur to be a business owner you have to be really passionate about what you do and one of the ways you get really passionate about what you do is going through something that's really personal for you and having that backstory and that really highlights what it is that you do we work with a lot of people where their business is really defined by their backstory as well and this again takes us back to those stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves really define what we become and if you can do the inner work you end often end up being the person that you really really couldn't see yourself being back in the day so yeah I don't know do you find that a lot with your clients? Yeah I'd say so I think it's one of those things isn't it that that passion is often a motivator yeah and then it's kind of like well how do I get this out there then yeah and I think that's the thing with with what we're doing with Altitude is that we are people that are attracted to us who are passionate about their thing that they're bringing to the world whether that's a you know often it's around a service that a lot of our clients do and it's it's often driven by I had this moment where I realized this was something I needed to be doing and this is something I wanted to get out there into the world and so I love that with Altitude we have all of these other different specialists who can just kind of go I'm taking your passion and we're just like cheerleading you along the way and if you need a little bit of support with sales if you need a little bit of support with marketing we are not doing anything but kind of just like channeling it and getting it out there even more. Yeah absolutely and I think it's that how that we we struggle with when we talk about passion and we talk about what we want to do you know that quite often is already there for most of our clients that that passion and that kind of maybe not the detail behind the vision but the big vision in terms of what would be absolutely epic to achieve and and why they want to achieve it is is almost there and I guess what it is such a pleasure and an honor to help them do is to actually make that happen for them because that is so much about what people struggle with they struggle with this stuff that we're talking about in terms of the mindset but also then putting it together and making all the pieces fit and then you know turning that into the journey and the how to actually make it happen.

So I think that's a lovely place to wrap up so yeah absolutely loved having you on and just before we go tell people how people can come into your world where do you show up most where can they come and find you so that they can follow you as well obviously Emma is a massive part of Altitude you can follow her through following the podcast and Altitude but also let people know how they come and find you as well. Okay cool so I am on LinkedIn a lot so if you're on LinkedIn you can find me there it's Emma Jenkins and you'll know it's me because it's I-N-G-S at the end of Jenkins yeah it's slightly unusual take on a very common surname so so you'll find me there on LinkedIn. I also my business is Mosaic Mediation and it's mosaic because often I find I'm getting all these scattered pieces and helping people put them together to kind of figure out what's actually going on so so is my website and you can find out all about the mediation stuff training stuff coaching stuff but also I've got quite a lot of resources around assertiveness and managing a conflict that people can get you through there as well. Amazing well it's been lovely to chat with you thank you so much for coming on maybe we'll get you on again to talk about profiling as well because that was yeah when we did that work in Altitude that was incredible as well so listen out here on the podcast for Emma to pop back up at some point in the future so yeah massive thank you for joining me here today. Thanks Jenny. If you'd like to apply for one of our complimentary strategy calls with one of our amazing coaches to take you through our four-step business acceleration process that we use with our clients inside Altitude you can now apply for a call at or through the link in the show notes.

I really hope you've enjoyed this episode and we will see you on the next one.

Jenni Donato

Jenni is an Award-Winning Mindset Coach & Business Strategist, host of the 'Mindset & Method' Podcast and founder of Altitude - a 6-month immersive coaching experience with 30 business growth experts.