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Body postures and comfort zones

A study entitled “Is a lack of self-confidence hindering women entrepreneurs?”(Kirkwood, 2009) through interviews of 50 entrepreneurs (25 women and 25 men) in New Zealand showed that women entrepreneurs face a lack of confidence in their entrepreneurial skills, compared to men. European Parliament published a study in (Directorate general for internal policies, 2015) to explore differences between men and women entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs and to analyze the barriers and discriminatory effects that hinder women’s entrepreneurship. It points out that lack of confidence is one of the factors behind the perceived difficulties in access to finance for women entrepreneurs and that “women entrepreneurs are more likely to perceive their business to be less creditworthy” (Watson and Robinson, 2003; Roper and Scott, 2009).

Helping the coachees building confidence is one of the challenge you will face on as a WECoach.  Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist argues that standing in a posture of confidence, even when you don't feel confident, can boost feelings of confidence. She believes that bodies change our minds and underlines the impact of body language in a brief demonstration.

See the video of Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk:

Amy Cuddy - Your body language may shape who you are

When Amy Cuddy invites Ted Talk audience to stand a new posture during 2 minutes, she asks people to leave their comfort zone. A French coach (Jérôme Frugère, 2019) who supports entrepreneurs, provides a scheme (Appendix 7) to explain why it is not easy to step out of one's comfort zone. Before reaching our growth zone, we go through a fear zone and a learning zone that can be uncomfortable but nevertheless it’s essential to leave the comfort zone.

The activity “Head, Hands and Heart” is originally designed for a group but you can experiment for yourself by making your own map: what you can bring as a WECoach. It focuses on empowerment.The approach is based on mapping the resources that a group has and focuses on all possibilities of a group. It helps individuals / group to focus on their strengths and skills. Here, we invite you to reflect on these three points:

  • HEAD: ideas, knowledge, understanding
  • HANDS: skills and ability to do things
  • HEART: feelings, attitudes and behaviour.

The value of failure

There are many benefits of failure and it is a central aspect in the coaching of your coachee. Indeed, it is possible that your coachee may fail several times, but it is important that she maintains confidence in herself and her projects. Many sociologists, researchers and psychologists have studied the matter. We invite you to watch 2 videos of women who took part in TEd Talk (short and powerful talks devoted to spreading ideas):

“On Being Wrong”:

Most of the time, we do everything we can to avoid making a mistake, but they definitely happen.

Kathryn Schulz, a "Wrongologist" explains in her speech how to accept to be wrong. She argues that our capacity to fail is fundamental to who we are.

To find out, click here: Kathryn Schulz: on being wrong

“A simple trick to improve positive thinking”:

Valuing failure and improving positive thinking go hand-in-hand.

In this talk, social psychologist Alison Ledgerwood suggests reframing the way we communicate to unlock a more positive perspective. She gives a wide range of examples of experiences she has conducted to demonstrate our perception of success and failure.

To find out, click here: Alison Ledgerwood: a simple trick to improve positive thinking

As a WECoach, your role when dealing with the topic of failure is to have your coachee understand that failure is “just” something pointing out that you are going into the wrong direction. The door you chose is closing, meaning that you did not analyse enough all the parameters because you thought you could go that way, but it is actually closed, so have your coachee understand the importance of re-analysing, re-thinking, re-putting the project into the big picture and re-visualising other doors that are still open. Failing is the opportunity to work on each one’s self esteem, identity, choices, values, indicators/criteria. Advising your coachee to do a whole scan of herself will help her find the right way and will help her find herself (or better know herself) as the worst scenario is not to fail or lose but to lose oneself.

Step by step : the planification of the objectives

Planning goals is essential for building confidence. Planning is too often not well done because one tends to always under-estimate this phase of planning as one is always in a urge of creating and developing: we set ourselves high objectives and indicators that we do not achieve. This is often the main reason that explains disappointment, failure and giving up / quitting. Whereas we should simply divide up the phases and set short and medium-term objectives. There are many tools that can help facilitate this planning. By acquiring these basic tools, you will have the opportunity to transfer them to your coachee, while accompanying her in their use. Here are a few of them:


In order to develop activities adapted to your coachees, it is necessary to identify the stakeholders expectations, needs and concerns. This includes any person or organization that has a connection to the project. They can either be directly impacted or influence some issues.


Identification of issues (branches) and their causes (roots). The problem tree is used to identify the difficult aspects of a situation and to determine the causes and consequences of these identified problems. The problem tree should be participative, so you can decide to develop it with your coachee (you can use a wall, whiteboard or flipchart and post-it notes as a starting resource to write the problems, causes and consequences).

The 4 steps to create your problem tree:

  • Define the framework of the existing situation and define the subject of the analysis.
  • Identify the main problems faced by stakeholders (see above : Analysis of stakeholders) and choose central and starting problem(s).
  • Find the causes of these problems and identify the resulting consequences.
  • Organize your problem tree by linking problems in small groups and connecting them with cause-and-effect arrows showing key links (reversing positions if necessary).


Turn the problems identified in the problem tree into objectives to be achieved.

Logical development of the problem tree, the objective tree helps you to consider various perspectives and to find different solutions that you could take to solve your problem.

The general objective is divided into sub-objectives  several times until an operational level is reached. These objectives can be both quantitative and qualitative. Going down the tree, the sub-objectives show how the higher objective will be achieved. By navigating in the opposite direction - up the tree - it is easy to understand the purpose of each sub-objective.

The 5 steps to create your objective tree :

  • Involve all persons who have an interest in this project.
  • List the objectives of the project and define the main objective.
  • Decline the sub-objectives by asking the question: how can this main objective be achieved?
  • Develop the other level(s): for all sub-objectives, ask yourself the question: how do we achieve this sub-objective?
  • To finalize the obtained tree, you can make a mind map for instance or use a paper board.

It is important to carefully consider priorities, balance the realism of some objectives, and find additional resources that may be useful in achieving the goals.


The logical framework is a tool for project design and management which provides a monitoring and evaluation system. It initiates a process that leaves a written, explicit and measurable record of what is expected to happen if it is successful. It is a dynamic document that is updated at each stage of the project's life and reflects its evolution.

The logical framework is used to determine :

  • The purpose of the project and the expected results
  • The activities carried out to achieve these results
  • The risks that could affect the achievement of the objectives and what measures to be adopted in order to avoid them
  • How to assess the progress of activities and the achievement of objectives
  • The necessary resources

Objectives are broken down into activities that need to be detailed to define what needs to be done (tasks) by whom it needs to be done (resources) and how the results (expected results) need to be delivered.

The logical framework also includes how to validate and evaluate the results (indicators), datas to check the evaluation (checking sources) and the budget (costs).


The gantt chart is a visual tool that shows month by month or week by week what is going on and helps to set achievable goals and indicators by week or by month: it’s a project timeline from start to end.

In order to develop the Gantt chart, you need to create the list of tasks to be done and estimate their duration. It’s important to regularly check the chart in order to update it and monitor the project's progress.


Project Coordinator

Centre d'Information Europe Direct

47, rue du Coq, 13001 Marseille, France
+33 4 91 42 94 75

Charlotte Perault, EU Project Manager

Hélène Seigneur, EU Project Manager

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