Building Confidence to Create Success with Chief Chaos Organizer, Vanessa Parker

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Full Transcript Below:

Jenn DeWall:

Hi everyone, It’s Jenn DeWall. And on this week’s episode of The Leadership Habit podcast, I sat down with Vanessa Parker, who also is known as a Chief Chaos Organizer. Vanessa is a serial entrepreneur, wife, and mother currently holding an executive director position. She is a walking billboard for women across the world that either own their own business, work nine to five jobs, or even both! Together, she and her husband, Paul, founded and ran several globally-recognized businesses, including Pink Boss and Divas in Defense. Under the Pink Boss imprint, Vanessa has elevated hundreds of women through digital resource workshops and speaking engagements. For Divas in Defense, she serves as the VP of Operations and Training, onboarding the company’s new self-defense licensees and operation of their international division. Her audience has seen her on the stage at Georgia Tech, Clayton State University, General Assembly, at Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Cruise, Tom Joyner Foundation Family Reunion, Black Enterprise’s Walker’s Legacy, 100 Female Entrepreneurs, and in Kuwait, partnering with Balsam International Training, and speaking to over 1400 women from 65 nationalities. As a wife and mother, Vanessa dedicates her time outside of the office to spending time with her blended family. I’d like you to welcome Vanessa to the podcast. We are going to be talking all about how we can show up and lead with confidence.

Meet Vanessa Parker, Chief Chaos Organizer

Jenn DeWall:

Hi, everyone. It’s Jenn DeWall, and I am so excited about this week’s episode. We are talking about one of my favorite topics, confidence and leading with confidence! And here to do that— I am sitting down with Chief Chaos Officer Vanessa Parker. First and foremost, welcome to the show, but please tell me what Chaos Officer means or Organizer- a Chief Chaos Organizer.

Vanessa Parker:

Thank you so much for having me. So honestly, it’s a title I’ve given myself because I run so many different things. I wear a lot of hats, from mom to wife to career. I have a nine to five as an executive director- and to my freelance businesses. And so, but everything that I touch is usually chaotic. I believe that my skillset is being able to look at something complex and creating processes around them. So I find myself in all these areas. So I said, you know what? I’m a Chief Chaos Organizer. And so that’s the title that I’ve given myself.

Jenn DeWall:

I love that. And you do wear a lot of hats and what the audience didn’t hear too is just, I mean, I want to give another acknowledgment to everyone. Like when you wear a lot of hats, it’s amazing. But yes, we also can be burnt out, which can impact our confidence. How do you stay? Like how do you stay confident? And I heard you say systems. How do you stay confident in the chaos? Because sometimes for me when it’s chaos, Oh, then I start to get overwhelmed. I am maybe more stressed out. I know I’m not responding or talking to people in the way. That’s my best self. How do you kind of keep showing up as a leader with confidence when you’re in or when you’re in chaos?

Vanessa Parker:

Ooh. So this took some years of training. So whatever I’m getting ready to tell you is like my secret sauce now, right? One thing is looking from like a 10,000-foot level. What is really, really important, what things are chaotic, and then at what systems can I put in place, right? And then narrowing down onto the different roles. And Another thing I do is I do a lot of time blocking and day blocking because the things that I do a lot are usually flexible. So meaning I can do them on certain days, certain times. And so, for me, I do time blocking, which means that I literally have focused time where I focus on these few tasks. Day blocking is on certain days I focus on different businesses or in my career. Right? And so Monday, Wednesday, Friday is where I really focus on my nine to five.

That doesn’t mean I don’t do work those other days, right. But those are my truly important days. I do admin work. I respond to emails. I follow up. I do all those things that are time-consuming. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days I focus, focus on my freelance stuff. And so, for me, that time blocking and day blocking allows me to have focus. Cause I’ve learned over the years, I’m not good at multitasking. And I think that I can juggle all the hats, but I can’t juggle them all on the same day. So I’ve got to make sure that I create those. And my last thing is before I go to bed, I tell myself that the day is complete because when you wear a lot of hats, your to-do list is never going to be done. And as someone like myself, that’s a project manager. I’m a Capricorn who really loves organization. If I can check off all the boxes, I don’t feel confident in myself. I don’t, I feel like a failure sometimes, but for me, I have to know that I did my best. If I give excellence every day and I try to conquer what I can do. When I go to bed, I say, my day is complete. Whatever I didn’t complete today, whatever I didn’t accomplish today, I can accomplish tomorrow. And those simple words have been such a reliever for me because I’ve given myself grace and permission to let the day close. I’ve done what I can do.

Jenn DeWall:

The day is complete. I love, Oh, just calming down the Sunday Scaries or the anxiety that kicks up. No, my day is complete. I love that. But I thought we didn’t. I didn’t even touch on this. Can you just share with our audience a little bit more about who you are? What are those hats that you’re wearing? Tell us a little bit more about what you do.

Vanessa Parker:

And so main hat. I am the executive director for a non-profit here in Atlanta, Georgia. We manage over 25 urban gardens. And so those are community gardens that we grow to give. We grow all the food, and we give to local food banks due to the pandemic. Food needs- the need for food has increased by over 400%. And so we have been meeting that need and making sure that food pantries have fresh produce. So that’s kind of the main hat that I wear. The other hat is my husband, and I have a business called Divas in Defense. We teach women and girls self-defense. We do that internationally corporate-wise, and then we license our program out. Things have kind of been on hold due to the current situation we are in. So we’re slowly ramping back up. And then the other thing I have is my Pink Boss business. That’s where I do all my group training, speaking engagements, all the confidence courses that I offer. I do it through that company. Then, I’m a mom, a wife, and all those other hats. Right? And so sounds all over the place, but I have learned to kind of keep it all in the right lane.

Why is Confidence so Important?

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. I mean, it’s, you have to, but I love that. You don’t just say I have to be one thing. I allow myself to focus on what I enjoy too. Either whether it’s a mom, whether it’s running your business, whether you know, whatever that is, you don’t limit yourself by saying, well, you can only do one, like you can do it. You just have to be intentional as to what you shared, but day-blocking, which I love and need to probably do more of, and remind myself the day is complete. So how did you come to kind of be attracted to talking about the topic of confidence because you and I connected? I heard you speak at a different event. You gave us such amazing insights. And so I knew that we needed to talk about this. How or what was your journey to really wanting to focus on the subject area?

Vanessa Parker:

Years ago, my husband and I had a business called Corporate LLC where we help small businesses start-up getting their LLC set up. We did the website design, all of that stuff. Then transitioned to, you know, got rid of that company, transitioned into Divas in Defense. I used to coach women in business, all of these things that I’ve done, even managing a team at the core of what holds people back, I noticed it was confidence. And I kept getting pulled in the direction of coaching or empowering people that were challenged with confidence. And I really think it’s not that I’m just an expert. I think that because I’m allowed, I feel I allow myself to be vulnerable enough to share my own struggles and then the things that I’ve worked on to overcome them and then share that information with other people who have tried some of the things and then giving me feedback. And so imposter syndrome, self-doubt, and confidence have really been tugging at me the last few years because I believe that that is the core piece that holds most people back.

Confidence and Imposter Syndrome

Jenn DeWall:

Absolutely. And it’s so funny. And I know we touched on this- imposter syndrome is, has been around for a while, but for some reason, it is just taking center stage. And I’m curious, why do you think it’s grown to its popularity today? What are you like? Why do you think it is that we’re finally talking about the fact that we all struggle with confidence? Like why it’s just so funny. It feels like there was a switch flipped, and now everyone wants to talk about it.

Vanessa Parker:

I know! And it’s so funny. Because I hear such, I’m hearing both sides of people who don’t think it exists and people that think it exists. I definitely think it exists. It has been around since 1970, the 1970s. Two scientists, well, two psychologists here in Atlanta, coined the term imposter phenomenon. They didn’t want to call it a syndrome because I felt like that made it a disease, but the buzzword has really taken off in the last, I would say, four years. I think it’s because one, we have the power of social media where people are transparent, taking the veil off. Celebrities that we looked up to are now admitting or owning up to what imposter syndrome is. Studies show that 70% of Americans have dealt with it before. So I think when you mention it, and you have a platform where you’re talking about it, so many people resonate with it, then you’ve got the blog posts, the podcasts, all the things that are creating the buzz around it.

And so I’m excited about it. I have some people who have said, Oh my God, you’ve been talking about this for the past five years. How do you feel that it’s kind of gone viral? I’m happy because I believe that imposter syndrome and self-doubt thrive in isolation. And if we don’t talk about it, then we suffer from it. Right. And I think suppression breeds depression. Right. And I think that having the different conversations about it, having people that look like you talk like you, that are saying I’m dealing with it, then allows us to identify and then create tools around how to combat it.

What does it mean to lead with confidence?

Jenn DeWall:

My gosh, can I just give you- first of all, I loved everything you just said, but second, thank you so much for acknowledging its role in the connection between imposter syndrome and mental health. That super-like suppression can equal depression. And as someone that struggles with mental health, that’s absolutely sometimes very, very true for me where I, you know, you struggle alone. You struggle in silence. And then that struggle just gets to be a bigger burden that kind of, again, diminishes your confidence, your energy, whatever that is like overall, your emotional health declines. So I think it’s so important to talk about that in terms of, you know when we don’t show up as our authentic selves, and we don’t give ourselves the grace that we actually could be, you know, really compromising ourselves in terms of a mental health standpoint. Thank you for bringing that up because, you know, it’s another thing that we need to keep plugging. Like mental health is so important, and yet we, we avoid that topic for some reason. I don’t know why, but it impacts everything that we do. What does, in your experience, what does leading with confidence mean?

Vanessa Parker:

I believe that leading with confidence means leading your authentic self. Sometimes people say that as a buzzword, but it’s true to who you are, what your values are, what you know, empowering those whom you lead, and being able to lift them up. I think true leaders are not so focused on their own personal development but the development of the people that they lead.

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. And they’re secure enough. So they’re not saying, Oh, if I develop you, then you’re somehow going to rise above me. They say, no, if we all develop each other, then we get better. So leading with confidence is also then how do you think, what does that look like if you make a mistake? Because I think that some leaders still put the expectation that we can’t own our mistakes or we can’t share, you know, we still try to pretend like everything’s fine, even though we might be that, you know, what’s the metaphor of the duck with the rapidly, like kicking legs underwater, you can’t see it, but they’re only showing you the top, which is not authentic and hard to build trust. But what, what does that mean? Or I guess my question again, in a long way, is like leading with confidence. Like what, how does that, how would that show up if you were going to, I guess, talk about a mistake that you made, because again, yeah, just leaders don’t own that sometimes because we’re afraid of being judged. And what, what does that look like when we actually do own our mistakes? And how can we use that as a positive?

Vanessa Parker:

I think vulnerability is the bridge to trust with your team. I’m not saying you got to tell all your business, right. But I think that there are pieces of yourself. That people need to know that you’re human. Being a robotic leader, it doesn’t work. I mean, we’ve had those leaders before. It just doesn’t work. Then you’ve got to put up this front that you’re perfect. Right? I think that so being vulnerable is super important for doing that with your team. I also think that we have to stop adopting the all-or-nothing mindset. And this is for leaders as well as employees. Right?

Jenn DeWall:

Tell me what you mean. What does that mean?

It’s Normal to Make Mistakes

Vanessa Parker:

So, if I make a mistake, it does not mean I’m a failure. So like if I make a stake in my job, that doesn’t mean I’m a failure across the board. I’m not a failure at being a mother, right? Like I think that we take on these things that were all or nothing. If I make a mistake at work and it could be a big mistake, I’m not negating any, you know, the stakes, right, but I’m saying I’m making a mistake. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure at my job. It doesn’t negate all the years of success that I had at the employer, I made a mistake, and that mistake could possibly just be a silo. Right. And I just think that sometimes we put ourselves in these boxes where we’re all or nothing, you’re going to have bad days. You’re going to make mistakes in your personal life and in your career.

So I think that being able to or identifying, knowing this is a mistake area that I have I’ve made. It doesn’t mean I’m like that all over. As a leader, I think acknowledging that and saying that to your employee or someone that you lead, Hey, I noticed that mistake. Here’s the immediate feedback. That’s the other thing, giving immediate feedback when there is a mistake done because what happens is if you avoid it because you don’t want to deal with the conflict, right? You don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. If you avoid correcting the mistake of giving them immediate feedback needed, then that mistake may happen again. Then as a leader, you might be resentful to that person. You may think you’re not acting differently to that person, but you probably are. Right? And so identifying and knowing, Hey, my employee made a mistake, acknowledging it course-correcting it and knowing, and confirming, affirming them, knowing that this doesn’t mean that you’re a mistake in the whole company like you, made this one mistake.

What Happens if Leaders Don’t Have Confidence?

Jenn DeWall:

I love the all or nothing just, and you brought up a really great reminder that this is a natural way to think. I know myself. I, I mean, I try to be candid on the podcast because I just want to share stories, but I am incredibly hard on myself. Like, you know, talk about just listening. All it takes is one mistake. And that I have to very much train my brain or just remind myself, like, don’t go there. It’s not productive. But sometimes I absolutely go there, and it sucks. It drains your confidence. It makes you not even want to try again because you’re like, Oh, I guess I really goofed up. But I love that you talk about having the all-or-nothing conversation with your team because we’re going to do it as leaders to ourselves. We likely will. That’s probably part of also what, you know, maybe even helped us be successful is that urgency that we have to prove it is all or nothing, but reminding your team that they’re going to have it and showing empathy for that. I love that having the conversation, Hey, you might have a tendency to maybe focus on this mistake, and that’s going to cloud all of your sense of accomplishment. Here’s what I want you to do, even though you’re going there. I just love that, Vanessa. I think that it’s so valuable that have the conversation with your team started having these types of convos. Don’t, you know, don’t just suffer in silence, like start also showing your team that it’s okay. What does it like? What’s the cost of not leading with confidence?

Vanessa Parker:

Ooh— not leading with confidence. It can create an environment where your team does not trust you. It can create an environment where your team does not show up in excellence because you’re not providing excellence. I think that leaders that are not confident are micromanagers. I think that sometimes they withhold information from a team. So they’re not best at communication. I think that they are they don’t know how to praise their team members or the people that they lead, which also may feel from an employee that I’m not getting the credit I deserve. I’m not seen. So I think that when you do not lead with confidence, you create and breed this environment. That is not a healthy workplace. Yes.

Does Confidence Come Naturally to Some People?

Jenn DeWall:

I like that. You know, just talking and reminding ourselves, like it shows up in how we communicate to people and they can sense it. Right. They can sense whether or not you’re like feeling confident in a decision, whether or not you’re even feeling confident in maybe a strategy or a task that you’re asking them to do. Like, we are very, I mean, I don’t know. Do you just notice? I feel confident. You can just tell when someone walks in the room, or you meet them, whether or not they have it. Like, do you feel, and I think I even had this as a later question. Like, do you think that confidence— I’m gonna move this up—Oh, I guess it’s the next one. Is confidence something that can be built? Or is it something that’s natural?

Vanessa Parker:

I think that in doing imposter syndrome research and talking to people who swear, they don’t have it. I think that there is a small percentage of people that may not have issues with confidence. I applaud them, but those people do have to check their ego and have guardrails in place or people in place that can help them when they’re a little high on their horse. Right. And so the ego can be a hard thing. Or arrogance can be a hard thing. If it’s something that you don’t lack in confidence. Right. But the majority of the world, I believe, does lack confidence. And so it may not. It doesn’t seem like second nature. It doesn’t come naturally.

I think it’s work that you have to do. And you can do that work by listening to this podcast, right, or listening to getting a coach or reading confidence or leadership books, finding a mentor that you believe is a great leader. So you can peel back and learn how, where they’ve gotten someone older, someone, who’s a little bit more experienced. So to answer your question, I do believe that there’s a small percentage of people that it may come second nature for the rest of us. I do not think so. I think you get as something it’s like a muscle. I think it is something that has to be worked on. You mentioned earlier talking to yourself when you have that trigger. I think that those are tools that you learn over time. If that triggers your confidence that your lack of confidence that you can turn on and that’s the work that you have to do, I don’t think it’s a one-size-fits-all. I give a lot of different strategies, but I think that you’ve got to try a bunch of things out to see what actually works for you.

A Message from Crestcom:

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What If I Think I’m Already Confident Enough?

Jenn DeWall:

I want to ask personally about this because you and I are both coaches. Like I know that I, you know, work within leadership. I work within a career, right? Like they’ll come, a client might come with a specific issue, and they never think that it’s confidence. I don’t. I just think it’s so funny that you have that same experience where people are like, no, no, no, I’m a confident person. And then you’re like, no, but it’s actually confidence you are feeling. Because I think people also don’t understand. We can get confidence in different ways. We can get it from being really good at our jobs. We can use it obviously from our self-talk. There are more things. I love the book, The Confidence Code for that. Just to talk about that. But I, I just love that.

Like so many people resist because it’s so bad to be labeled as not confident, but yet if we don’t own it, how the heck can we actually resolve, like getting rid of that stuff? I just, I love that you shared that experience because it just shows, again— people stop lying to yourselves! You might actually have an opportunity to check your confidence. And when you own that, it’s just a great place to start developing or do something different. I don’t know. What do you say to your clients when they’re like, I don’t have an issue with this because it’s, again, we don’t want to be called or labeled as not confident.

Vanessa Parker:

I have a friend who supports me. She will attend to all my imposter syndrome stuff. She has on me about writing a book about it, all of those great things. But she swears she does not deal with imposter syndrome or lack of confidence. Now, all I do is still remind her of situations. She says something to me, I’m like, sounds a little bit about confidence, right? But no judgment. It’s interesting because it wasn’t until recently, she is now in a doctoral program. And she said for the first time she did not feel confident. And so, in our discussion, we realized she didn’t have a lack of confidence because she typically didn’t put herself in places where she was not the smartest in the room. She didn’t challenge herself in certain areas. Right. And so to your point, confidence is not just at my career confidence. If you don’t, if you feel great and super confident and free, you may not as a parent, or you may not as a wife. Right. And so confidence isn’t this blanket thing. It affects different areas of your life. It may not affect your career, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t lack in other areas.

Jenn DeWall:

Yes. And it’s so important that it can. It pivots. It can go up down throughout the day, depending on that. And then yes, they love your point that if you are feeling, you know, overly confident, or if you feel like you don’t have a confidence issue, maybe it is an opportunity to check in with yourself and say, Hey, do you want to learn something new? Like how could you put yourself into a more vulnerable, like, you know, a risk, a situation that could help you like trying to develop a new skill, applying for a new job, you know, just to see? Because I know that everything that you want is on the other side of fear, and you need to have the confidence to overcome fear. And if you don’t have confidence, you’re not going anywhere. You’re just going to stay there because confidence is that beautiful thing that we control.

Comparing Ourselves to Others Kills Confidence

Jenn DeWall:

I love that it’s us. Right? We can’t. That’s the one thing you cannot go to a store for. And it is invaluable when you have it and are developing it, but it’s still hard. I do the work, and I can tell you it’s still a struggle with it. It’s, and I think it’s because, and I’m sure you have this too. Is that the second you’ve kind of mastered something, then you’re like you somehow find your hand in another situation that you don’t have experience with? And you’re like, Oh gosh, why did I sign myself up for this? Can I do this? What is wrong with me? But each time, it’s building your resilience, and you know, you talk about it as a muscle. I also like to think about it as, you know, just even thinking we’re trained from birth to just comparing ourselves to people, you know, like, how are you doing? Check-in. Are you in alignment with your peers? Are you in alignment with your friends? And so every single person, I really think we do compare ourselves often to people like, am I getting it right? Am I good enough? And the piece of what confidence is it? That is the most— I guess not helpful— way to look at it because we can’t limit ourselves by looking at someone else’s middle and being at our own beginning. And I see that a lot in like a speaking program that I run, like some of our newer speakers, just, they might see someone that’s more established and then they don’t step into their confidence. Even though they’re fantastic speakers, they’re just new. I don’t know. Do you see that? Like, I just want to hug everyone when they feel that I’m like, don’t compare yourself.

Vanessa Parker:

I think that we are not okay with being new at something. We are not okay with saying, I don’t know. It’s so funny. This non-profit that I work for now, I just recently got this role in December, and we are urban gardeners. We manage urban gardens. I know nothing about gardening. Like I have, I have a plant. That’s all I had to go meet an older gentleman. That’s a farmer, been a farmer for years to pick up some plant donations for us. And when I arrived, he started asking me things and talking about things. And I kept saying, Oh no, sir, I don’t know that term, sir. I don’t. I don’t know. And at the end? He said, what do you know? Aren’t you an executive director for this non-profit? And it’s funny because, in my twenties, I may have taken that as offensive. But for me, I said, no, I actually didn’t get hired because I’m a gardener. I got hired because I can grow this non-profit, and I can create systems around it and get us the funding we need.

Jenn DeWall:

Yes. For that response- it’s confidence in action!

Vanessa Parker:

Lean on our team members that are actually gardeners. I’m not. And so you do have those people who will put you and make you feel that way. That’s what happens when you compare yourself to others. But knowing that I am so confident with saying, I don’t know. I don’t know like I’m learning, but I don’t know everything yet. And I am not supposed to know everything. I don’t believe that we’re here on this earth to just if I know everything about everything, I wouldn’t need anyone. And I just don’t think that we are. We’re created for that. I think we’re created to work with each other, and we’re communal, right? And so I’m okay with it. But I have learned over the years, that’s the confidence that I have built.

Good Leaders Build Their Team’s Confidence

Jenn DeWall:

Yes. I love that. Give yourself an a, because again, that’s something that a lot of leaders do. We put this pressure because we have that title that we somehow have to show up as a perfect person, doesn’t make mistakes. And then also that pressure, I have to know all the answers. And I love that. Even with what you shared, you can go back to your team as an Executive Director. You’re like, and this is a great opportunity to lean on my team. I don’t have to, even though you’re the Executive Director. No, absolutely. You don’t have to be everything, but you can leverage your skills at growing that business, putting those systems in place. That was such an amazing example of what leadership looks like. We can be confident in what we have, but then also recognize the value and be confident with someone else.

Vanessa Parker:

And a good leader will put people in place and give them the right tasks for them to succeed. I believe a good leader looks at their team to know what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are so that they can give them wins. Right? If you know your team member, for example, my lead gardener is amazing and knowledgeable in the garden, but throw her in presentations and business meetings where she has to fundraise, she’s probably going to fail. And so if I need her to get there, then I’ve got to put the things in place to get her to there or recognize that may she may never get there because that is not her skill set. And it will be unfair to put her in that role. And so I think leaders, we have to look at not just confidence, skillset, and strengths. And if that is a skill set that they need on your team, then how do you build that up over time? Because it does, it’s not a flip of the switch, right? Or is that something that they will never be able to fulfill? And how do you either hire for that role or fill that gap?

Jenn DeWall:

Yes. I love that. Focus on those strengths, like just making sure that they feel confident, and I love checking in. I, you know, my task would be like challenging. Does every organization do every person that does well have to become a leader? Because I know we are leaders. We’re, this is a leadership podcast. I love leadership, but it’s also not a small job. And then you hire that top performer that’s not a great leader that becomes a liability for you. So why can’t we start to look at their strengths and be like, you know what, they’re a great performer? Probably not the best on our people management side, but they’re really great at these tactical efforts. Let’s praise and reward them for that. Instead of being like, well, you’ll only way to move up here is to, you know, do something and then, and then they hate it. The employees hate it, but this happens everywhere. I feel like this happens everywhere. Why?!

Vanessa Parker:

This happens in sales all the time. Just because you have great numbers, you’re promoted to a leader, and they don’t give them any personal development training. They don’t make sure. And how many people leave jobs because of that middle manager. And I feel so sorry for the middle manager, right? Because they get promoted based on performance, which is great, but then they get no training on leadership. They get no training on dealing with your team and knowing that leadership is really 60% people work. And so we promote these people and then get mad at the horrible bosses, but we’ve never prepared them. Yes.

Jenn DeWall:

What the heck? Like, why can’t we stop this one? This is a glaring problem that I even bought someone listening is like, yeah, there’s really some not great leaders that they were great team members. They’re really great at what they did, but why in the heck is that the only option? And you’re setting up everyone to fail. It’s not fair. I want to also give a shout out too, quickly. Because we were talking about imposter syndrome. I’m going back here. So if you heard and you thought about imposter syndrome, maybe your first thing was just like you, like you, you know, I don’t know how you move to the Executive Director role, but thinking you see the job and you’re like, I don’t have any gardening experience. I guess I’m not going to go for it. Whereas you were like, but this is the experience I do have. I can learn other things, or I can depend on my team.

Jenn DeWall:

That is such a stellar example of confidence and not letting that voice or the pressure to be perfect, to stifle your ability to grow and find these next opportunities. I just want to praise you for that because that’s a really big deal. And I think that’s a great inspiration for our audience. If they’re looking at something and telling themselves they’re not good enough, or they don’t have X, what do you have? So let’s, I know we’re going to talk about tools. Like maybe we can talk and just give some quick examples of what decreases our confidence. And then we’ll go into talking about some tools on how we can rebuild. What are the things I know we talked about a few of them already, like comparison, right?

Vanessa Parker:

Yes! Comparison, right? And I will say unfollow people that make you feel some kind of way. Right? Because we also can control our social media feed. Just like looking at your confidence. So comparison. Not knowing all the answers, we talked about that. Right. I think that holds us back because we’re afraid to say we don’t know or to seek the answers. We’re afraid that in leadership if I said, I don’t know now, I’m a doctor. And I walk into your office, and the doctor says, I don’t know, that might be a problem, right? But I’m not performing heart surgery. So like being able to be comfortable saying we don’t know. We talked about imposter syndrome, the all-or-nothing mindset. Right? I think you lack confidence when you think I missed. I make a mistake in this area that that mistake is transferred onto all areas of your life.

It’s Ok To Make Mistakes But Remember to Course-Correct

Vanessa Parker:

I think that’s it. I think another thing that decreases confidence is when you continue to make mistakes and don’t course correct? Because in imposter syndrome and self-doubt, sometimes there’s a silver lining of truth, right? There is a little piece of it that you feel like, Oh my God, I’m not equipped to apply for this job. I don’t have all the skillsets, right? And so if that’s the case and that keeps coming up for you, go get the skillset, like create an action list of things you can do. So you can combat that trigger when it comes. Right. So not being able to course correct when you keep seeing the same mistake, I think, is important. The other thing that I think decreases confidence is when we are not our authentic selves. Who are you? You’ve got to take some time to know who you are, what makes you tick the good, bad, and ugly. There are some things that we’re not going to be able to fix, but we can put guardrails or tools around to help us. I’m a procrastinator. With all the hats that I wear, procrastination is a thorn in my side! It is the hardest thing to overcome for me, but I have to push through and put tools and things in place. But it’s being able to know that about myself and accepting that it’s not going to go away. Right. But I can create some things that help me with it.

Jenn DeWall:

Okay. So we’re, you know, I love all of those ideas. Yes. Imposter syndrome, not knowing all the answers, what are the tools? How can we start to build it? I love it in the beginning. Just talking about confidence is absolutely something that can be built, do not give up on yourself. If you feel like you don’t have it, you don’t have it yet. And I love even your final example or your previous example of if you don’t have the skill and that mistake keeps coming up, just get the skill, give yourself permission to learn again. But what are other tips and techniques that you have to help develop leaders or an individual’s confidence?

Doing the Work of Confidence-Building

Vanessa Parker:

To help them build confidence in themselves. We talked about some personal development, getting a coach or a mentor that can help you—getting to know yourself, taking some time to ask yourself key questions. What do you like? Where do you see yourself in the next few years? What do you think a confident person looks like, smells like, feels like, dresses like? If that image is not the image that you feel you put out into the world, change it. Like if it means you feel confident only when you’re in a suit, then those times when you need to pump up that confidence and wear a suit, whatever you’ve got to do if it’s red lipstick, I don’t care. But ask yourself, what does an ideal person for you look like that is confident, and how can you mimic those things? How can you be that person?

Vanessa Parker:

I think also getting feedback from people because we’re our worst critic asking people how they are asking your team if you’ve built enough trust that they can be honest. If you get back. Oh, you’re just so amazing. And you don’t really feel amazing. They’re probably not being honest with you. Right. Getting some feedback from friends or family, other people that you’ve led before, or groups with a volunteer or in your career. So you can get some feedback on it. I want to get some tips, though, about building confidence in your team. Is that cool?

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I feel like the piece I love that you just said, like act as if, because I think about my journey as a speaker, I’m always thinking like, what would a multimillion-dollar speaker do? Newsflash, I’m not a multimillion-dollar speaker yet, but it’s always thinking, how would they dress? How would they schedule their time? Would they spend their time on their phone playing a game? Would they not? I just, I love that notion, and I think it’s super helpful to just see yourself in that role. But yes, let’s talk about how we can develop it on our teams because that’s just so important that we need team members to be able to be confident and see their value in every single role in the organization.

Vanessa Parker:

Right. And so I think that getting confidence for ourselves as leaders are super important, but sometimes we may not. I hate to see the term fake it till you make it. Right. But sometimes, building confidence is also building confidence in other people. And so really quickly, some tips on building your team is, ask yourself, do you really honor and respect the team that you work with? So the people who report to you, do you actually like them? What are the things you like about them? What are their strengths? Who are their children and their family? Like, get to know the people you work with. You don’t have to be best friends. I’m not saying hang out for a happy hour every night. I’m not saying those things, but you’ve got to truly honor the people that work for you. When you do that, I think you show up authentically, and you really do care.

They said there are no emotions in business. I don’t agree with that. We are emotional people, men, and women! Emotions exist, politics at companies exist. And so breaking those barriers is by honoring them and really getting to know them, praising and building on the momentum of what they have accomplished and their strengths. So praising, if praising your teammates or people that you report to you is hard, then you need to work on that muscle a little bit. Praising them, making sure they feel seen and feel like they are in a position to win. I know leadership has a lot because you also have to work to do, but you’ve got to do the people’s work. The other thing is creating peer mentorship. So if you see that some teammates or people that report to you do not have as much confidence, pair them with someone who may have some confidence in their role or who has a different strength than them so that they can kind of coach each other because, or someone on your team that may not have as much confidence, and you see that, but they don’t see it. Pair them with someone and have them do coaching activities or confidence-building things with their teammates.

Because I have learned, I heard this years ago, but I’ve learned over the years that in order to really conquer something is to teach it right. And so having someone who has a little bit less confidence teach something on confidence or lead a meeting about confidence will help them research it, understand it, know their own triggers and allow them to teach a little bit, gets them out of their culture or their comfort zone. And the last, yeah, last thing is to create a culture where you discourage imposter syndrome, you discourage self-doubt, right? And so that is to encourage them to take chances and getting all projects that make them stretch.

A true leader because they know the strengths and weaknesses of their teammates or people who report to them. They can create stretch goals for them and allow them to fail at some things. And I’m not saying praise the failure, right. But understanding that mistakes aren’t all or nothing and say, Hey, we all made a mistake today. Here’s what happened. Here’s what we haven’t done. We used to do this at my last job. If, if a sale didn’t go through, we talked about it in the meeting and not in a drab way, but it was like, Hey, here’s why we didn’t close this sale. How can we be better next time? You know, things like that will help breed confidence in the people that you work with.

How to Connect with Vanessa Parker

Jenn DeWall:

I love that example. Just normalizing it again. People don’t do it. Right? Someone’s listening, and they’re like, I’ve heard that before. Well, ask yourself, are you really doing that? Are you normalizing it? Or is there judgment around mistakes? So then people, you know, are more likely to feel imposter syndrome, or they’re maybe not going to be as authentic with you because they don’t want to be judged. I, I love that example, but that’s not what, how, how do people get in touch with you? I know we covered a lot today, and I love all of the, you know, just, I feel like you gave a lot of inspiration, not only for the individual leader but what really also the tasks that us as leaders, it’s our job to develop confident teams. And I love all the techniques that you shared. How can our audience get in touch with you

Vanessa Parker:

On LinkedIn, search for me, Vanessa Parker. I do respond to my inbox messages. So if you have any questions or want some activities on building confidence, I’m sure I can maybe share them there. And then on Instagram, The Pink Boss is all things, business, family, confidence-building. It is kind of my piece of the world where I share all of the things that I’ve learned over the years.

Jenn DeWall:

Oh my gosh. I love it. To find her, find Vanessa Parker on LinkedIn there, go to The Pink Boss on Instagram, but Vanessa, thank you so much for taking your time. She is the Chief Chaos Organizer, and I hope that by sitting down and talking to her, you could hear all of the insights that you have from your many years as both a coach, a speaker, and just a leader. And thank you so much for just giving us tools, techniques and also normalizing that lacking confidence likely happens to all of us. We may not realize it, but it’s something that we can learn and something that we can develop. And you’re totally worthy! Vanessa, Thank you so much. We really appreciate you!

Vanessa Parker:

Thank you For having me.

Jenn DeWall:

Thank you so much for tuning into this week’s episode of The Leadership Habit podcast. I hope you feel inspired to go up and elevate that confidence. And remember that if there’s something you’re not confident about, maybe it’s just an opportunity to learn a new skill or to research something differently. Confidence is something that can be learned. If you want to connect more with Vanessa, you can find her on LinkedIn at Vanessa Parker, or you can follow her on Instagram at the Pink Boss. And if you enjoy this week’s episode, if you know a friend or a leader that’s struggling with confidence, please share this with them. So they do not struggle alone. And so they can have some tools that can help them improve their confidence. Of course, if you’re also interested in leadership development, please sign up for us. Come over to crestcom.com. We offer two-hour free leadership skills workshops. We would love to come into your organization and develop your team. And last please, you enjoyed this episode. Please leave us a review on your favorite podcast streaming service.

The post Building Confidence to Create Success with Chief Chaos Organizer, Vanessa Parker appeared first on Crestcom International.

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