Give us a butcher's

I was having my nails done by Sarah and we got onto the subject of new shops and businesses that had recently opened in the local village. I said to Sarah that I had been into the local butchers and had purchased some sausages and a cut for a Sunday roast. Sarah said that she wouldn’t feel comfortable going into the butchers and I asked her the reason. She replied: “I don’t feel confident enough”. I asked her what she was afraid of. Sarah went on to to explain that even though she regularly buys pre-packaged meat from a supermarket, she didn’t have an appreciation of quantities or suitable cuts for two adults. We continued the conversation and I explained that, in my experience, most butchers are helpful and are quite used to people asking them for advice with regards to amounts, cuts, suitability and cooking requirements. In fact, I quite often go into the butchers, and start the conversation with, ‘Jamie (Oliver) says…’ or ‘Gordon Ramsay states…’

The challenge that Sarah presented was a common one in that we sometimes lack confidence in certain things in life. What I mean by that is that Sarah was used to dealing with new and existing customers as a beautician and she is confident with that. If, however, she is faced with a different situation the role is reversed and, in this case, she felt that she didn’t have the courage to ask the butcher for his advice. If the butcher wasn’t helpful in providing a good customer service and experience then he wouldn’t survive in business. He is also probably quite used to people coming into his shop to ask for his opinion and advice.

A few weeks later, I was having my nails done again (regular maintenance and change of colour required!) and we got onto the subject of the local butcher again. I asked Sarah if she had been in and she said she had. We talked about what made her go in and make a purchase and she said that she plucked up the courage to go in and ask the butcher for his advice. She ended up purchasing enough meat to stock up her freezer for a month! She also said that the butcher was friendly and she felt that he made no judgments about her or her perceived (in her mind) lack of knowledge.

Having confidence is a core life skill and we probably don’t realise that we tap into it and use it a lot more regularly than we think we do. We need confidence in all walks of life - when we make contact with strangers in shops, restaurants, petrol stations, cafes and indeed anywhere that is public. Yet something happens when we need to make a presentation, network at a business event, pitch our business, ask for a pay rise etc and the levels of confidence diminish or disappear.

Next time you need to raise your level of confidence imagine that you are talking to your butcher and find that level of confidence that you know is in there!

Sophie Edmond