Networking with confidence

SG was confident of her ability as a scientist but less sure of herself in informal networking sessions.

“My ambition is to become an independent science researcher, leading a team of researchers focused on understanding different aspects of brain biology. During my first steps towards this, I was shortlisted for an interview at one of the best universities in the world. The interview consisted of a scientific presentation, followed by Q&A and finally an informal meeting with people who worked in the institute. I had always been confident regarding my research and knowledge of my scientific niche. However, when it came to inter-personal relationships, I felt hugely insecure.

So, I decided to get some coaching to improve my confidence and social skills. I found my coach warm, friendly, persistent, supportive and insightful. She listened to my needs and tailored the sessions accordingly. There were also exercises I chose to practise between sessions to embed my learnings. As a result, I felt very comfortable during the interview – not only when it came to the specific scientific discussion, but also when talking to my peers generally about science and other matters. Overall, I thought that the interview was really fun – which was not at all what I was expecting before the coaching.

However, the most important achievement is that I have changed my perception of myself in social settings for good. I no longer believe that I am difficult to be around or unfriendly. My confidence as a scientist and as a person has increased dramatically. To my surprise and delight, I continue to feel the same way even though it’s nearly a year since the coaching. And, on the odd occasion I do feel a bit down, I revisit those practices, and the effects just happen again and again.”

SG, Research Scientist