Feedback got ya frantic?

The practice of giving and receiving feedback is a true art and science.  We rely on science to understand why we react the way we do, and we create art each time we practice receiving & delivering feedback!

Today’s post is all about the art of expressing feedback with your strengths, and how science can help you navigate & work with what ya got!  It starts with the virtues, and expressing the strength that aligns with the virtue (the virtues are: wisdom & knowledge, humanity, justice, courage, transcendence, and temperance).  Curious to know your strengths & virtues?


For many of us (yes I am included in this bucket), It’s super hard to not take feedback personally in the moment.  Your emotions rise to the surface, and your inner Nancy Drew or Columbo start talking to you. You immediately start looking for clues, which lead to blaming, assumptions, more clues, and new assumptions which lead you to a state of clue-lessness!

So why does this happen?  

Blame it on brain yeah eeee yeah!

It all comes down to science: the second your emotions arise, your brain creates stories that protect you from the perceived fear of being attacked.  Your primitive brain is wired to protect you from any and all threats. Yep- feedback is typically perceived as a threat. When you feel your heart beating faster, and your skin is flush- your brain is sending signals to your extremities to run! The prefrontal cortex is blocked, and your amygdala is on overdrive. But wait a hot second- you aren’t in danger. You’re listening to someone give you feedback! You’ve been brain hacked! Your feelings and thoughts are temporary, and seeing this objectively creates space to create a new outcome.  A daily mindfulness practice rewires your brain so you can connect to your calm in these moments.


Strengths in Feedback Arena:

Scenario: You have to give someone tough news, feedback, and are basically not certain how the outcome will be.  In the moment, you are overwhelmed by feelings of uncertainty, and prepare by doing a quick 3 minute meditation.

Fast forward…you delivered the feedback; bravo! (thank you, Bravery Strength). You notice the person (receiver of feedback) shifting to one of the following behaviors: defensive, overly pleasing, withdrawn, or maybe tearful (nice work using your Strength of Social Intelligence and seeing these cues).  Take a conscious moment to create space for the words to be absorbed by the receiver. In other words, be okay with silence.

For the receiver of the feedback, a great way to stay present with it are these three powerful words “tell me more” (welcome in your Strengths of Curiosity & Perspective). The person giving the feedback has an opportunity to review the facts as they know it, and engage you to share. You (as the receiver) can listen to the facts, and decide if the facts are all present. The bigger Strengths you both are practicing are Kindness, Fairness, and Teamwork. You are creating a new possibility versus it’s “this way or else you’re out”.  Also- you’ve created space between your emotions and the present moment.  At the end of the conversation, you create trust & and deeper connection.

We practice and preach meditation using the Headspace app!  Dive in today, and learn how meditation can calm your brain, and boost your life!  


Kind is The New Cool

You're at work, and you're communicating with a colleague about a mutual project. You're struggling to give your colleague constructive criticism because you don't want to come across as a jerk, hurt their feelings, or create tension in your relationship. However, your colleague failed to meet the agreed upon deadline, and you pick up the slack to keep the project's deadlines met. You are frustrated, and were unsuccessful in giving them feedback.

Sound familiar? This is a common challenge faced at work, home, and in relationships.

So why do you do this? When you avoid having the constructive chat, your brain gets a reward! It loves keeping you safe & sound. Hence why you instantly feel better after not giving the feedback. But as you know the "feel better" part doesn't last long. You end up feeling drained, and mad at yourself for not saying what needs to be said. And besides- you are tired of staying late to complete your colleagues lack luster work. The way out? Retrain your brain by doing the "scary" chat, and over a period of time you're brain will adapt & reward you with honoring the new behavior.

Our way out: Practing "kind" versus "nice" communication. Kind implies you are giving the feedback because you care about the other person. Kind says you care about yourself, and are able to express yourself authentically. Kind is straight to the point, and doesn't need a lot of filler words nor an apology. Kind is the new cool!

Kind 101:

  • When delivering the information, get to the point. Eliminate filler words, stories, and apologies.

  • Be clear, and specific. Avoid vague descriptions.

  • Your tone of voice & posture are neutral. Slow down your delivering; your heart may be raising.

  • Remember to breathe while speaking.

  • Allow the other person to respond, and can ask them a few follow up questions to be sure they heard you.

  • Let them know you are available with any follow up questions.

Be committed to growing, flubbing it up, and trying again. You are learning a new behavior, and it takes a few times to fall before learning how to do this successfully.

February Focus: Strengths Recap Week 3

We focused our efforts this month to positively expand your perspective on yourself, others, and your environment by focusing on The Character Strengths as outlined by the VIA Institute of Character. To learn more about the Strengths, read our introductory blog post here. We’ve even included access to take your own FREE Strengths assessment to really be able to leverage all the information we’re sharing throughout the month over on Instagram.

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STRENGTHS Recap: Final Week

How fun was that!? You know the drill: read on for a recap of the last Strengths in our February Focus series!

  1. Love of Learning: The strength of loving to learn warms our heart as we connect to this one big time!  This strength aligns to the virtue of wisdom. When you love to learn, you go deep with the knowledge, and overtime master it.  This strength partners nicely with curiosity but goes beyond it to describe the tendency to add systematically to what one knows.  Most of us love to learn, but not everyone takes their learning into a method & carries it out in a deliberate way. Here’s fun exploratory exercise to use your love of learning strength!  Read or listen to a book or article about a topic you’re passionate about learning. We will use the example of meditation. Once you’ve completed reading, create a list of questions to answer to help retain the information. What benefits can meditation bring your life, how do you do it, what do you need to meditate, how long do you meditate, what does research say about it? Etc…   Use your curiosity to explore the topic to you feel satisfied with it. The next step would be to create a system to incorporate all the information, and to design a meditation habit. This last step is important so your love of learning is strengthen.

  2. Gratitude: We believe everyday is a practice of gratitude.  Starting each day with 3 things you are grateful for in your life dominoes outward onto others.  Gratitude strength aligns with the virtue of transcendence, and is one of the 5 strengths most associated with life satisfaction & happiness. Try this on today friends: write a gratitude letter to someone to whom you are especially grateful and who you have properly thanks.  If appropriate, make a gratitude visit & deliver your letter to them.

  3. Spirituality: Our strength of spirituality aligns with the virtue of transcendence, and is a belief about the higher purpose & meaning of the universe.  Your curious about how you fit into the bigger scheme of it, and enjoy connecting to the sacred. Spirituality isn’t a religion nor is it separate from religion; it’s an extension of your belief system.   This strength is linked to compassion, altruism, volunteerism, and philanthropy. Those of us who naturally lead with it have lower levels of marital conflict, greater spousal support, consistent parenting, and additional supportive relationships between children & their parents. Eckart Tolle has been one of our admired spiritual teachers, and he says, “I have learned to offer no resistance to what is; I have learned to allow the present moment to be and to accept the impermanent nature of all things and conditions. Thus have I found peace”.  How can you best define spirituality for yourself? How can you build a practice around what you believe”  You may be surprised as you build your spiritual practice, the little things that annoy you will start to fade in the background.

  4. Zest: Just the word Zest makes ya want to move!  Zest is the strength that aligns to courage, and supports your approach to life with excitement & energy.  People who are naturally connect with work as their calling, have deep meaning & engagement in what they do have high levels of life satisfaction.  Research shows when you share positive events with others (compared to not sharing) you boost your energy & vitality! Be mindful of the balance of zest & humility; balance is the key friends.  What blocks zest for you, and what do you commit to doing to unleash it within you? Did you know that going outside, bonus if you go into nature, boosts zest & vitality? Try taking your breaks outside, going for walks to catch up with your friends, and using your brave strength to go outside after a sauna or hot yoga in the cold air!  Boom; you’ve connected to your zest!

  5. Social Intelligence: The strength of Social Intelligence is the “PI” of all the strengths!  You are a natural at knowing the motives, and feelings of other people & yourself.  Your “know how” in social situations is soaring! You fit in, and are aware of what makes other people tick!  This strength ties in the virtue of humanity, and relate to having a pleasurable life. If this is not an easily expressed strength, be curious about what stops it from flowing forward! Build your support system with someone who expresses this easily, and ask them mentor you!

  6. Perseverance: When life gives you lemons and you choose to make lemonade with it; you are exercising your perseverance strength friend.  You are committed to finishing what you start in spite of obstacles, and take great pleasure in completing your work. Typically- with this strength comes the use of hope as you see the obstacle as an opportunity to reassess, and be strategic with going forward.  Gawsh- we really love this strength as it is required to keep moving forward; bottom line. The use of a growth mindset is uber important here as it aligns with the mindset of taking risks, learning, and practicing. Shifting your mindset to see everything you’re creating as a practice gives access to the ease perseverance wil bring to your end game.  

  7. Self regulation: Friend, we saved the best strength for last; self regulation.  Don’t ya just love the ring those two words have to your ears? Haha!!!  First thing is first, self regulation aligns with the virtue of temperance.  You’re disciplined in appetites & emotions, and have appropriate control over your impulses.  The interesting piece about self regulation is it’s like a muscle- it can be fatigued by over-exertion or strengthened with practice.  In laboratory studies, it takes only 7 minutes to deplete. This strength supports more of your health behaviors. Now it’s easy to “pooh pooh” on this strength, but stay with us.  If the word discipline conjures up no fun, lack of spontaneity, and boring; we’re here to shine a new perspective for ya! The practice discipline has on your life has the magic of freedom on the other side.  When you consume, show emotion, and take what you need your life expands beyond belief! It’s the over indulging moments that leave you literally hung over & drained, and lacking zest & vitality. Take inventory of where in your life you’ve excelled with self-regulation.  What other strengths supported you alongside it? Self-regulating the use of all your strengths, knowing when to use one versus the other in situations, is the overall name of the game to increase your overall well-being.

  8. Curiosity

    Would you call yourself an explorer? You are awe struck by topics, places, and experiences?  If you are shaking your head “yes”- you my friend have leading strength of curiosity. Curiosity is aligns with the virtue of wisdom.  Curiosity means taking an interest in ongoing experiences for its own sake; finding subjects & topics fascinating. Curiosity is said to be one of the strengths connected to happiness, life engagement, & life longevity.  To light a fire under your curiosity- try this on: what domains of your life are you the most & least curious? Spend time exploring 1 lesser domain to kindle your curiosity flame.

  9. Teamwork

    We love when a member of a team is acknowledged for being MVP, and they acknowledge everyone in the team.  Without the others, they wouldn’t look as memorable as they do with them. So true! The strength, teamwork, is connected to the virtue of justice.  Teamwork means you work well as a member of a group or team. You demonstrate loyalty to the group, and you do your share of work. Hmmm; know some people who are on a team but a bit of a soloist?  Here’s your chance to bring them onboard- reach out to them in your positive style. Your loyal nature is needed to boost them into the group spirit.

  10. Prudence

    Are you looking for a way to reduce the perception of being overwhelmed, running everywhere; yet getting nowhere?  So many things to do, books to finish, and your list piles higher? We hear ya friend, and we’re bringing some prudence alert to your conscious.  Just the word alone makes one want pucker up, and turn away; or is it just use? Haha! It’s one of the strengths that are least recognized globally, but relate to having fewer external behaviors such as aggression.  Prudence aligns with the virtue of temperance. Prudence means to be careful about one’s choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted. You’re wise and cautious. If the thought of doing this makes you break out, it’s okay AND be sure to surround yourself with peeps who lead with this strength!  Ready to strengthen your prudence strength? Make a specific plan for one goal at a time on your task list while considering the constraints to achieving the goals. The constraints aren’t there to side track you from going for your goal, but rather know ahead of time how you will persevere in the face of the obstacles.

    Missed the first two recaps? Read here for Week 1 and here for Week 2.

Are you ready to dive into your Strengths?

Want more? We talk all about Strengths in our 1:1 coaching sessions and our group coaching platform HighPer Space. Ready to say YES to unblocking what’s holding you back and use your strengths to elevate your life? Shoot us a note. We’d love to chat.

Wishing you your YES,

B

Ready for more YES? Enjoy these other blog posts, too!

February Focus: Strengths Recap Week 2

We focused our efforts this month to positively expand your perspective on yourself, others, and your environment by focusing on The Character Strengths as outlined by the VIA Institute of Character. To learn more about the Strengths, read our introductory blog post here. We’ve even included access to take your own FREE Strengths assessment to really be able to leverage all the information we’re sharing throughout the month over on Instagram.

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STRENGTHS Recap: Week 2

We headed into week 2 of our month of strengths with 7 more notables. Read on for a recap of each strength and some suggestions to guide yourself through exploration to leverage these strengths and LIVE YOUR YES!

  1. Leadership: The leadership strength means encouraging a group of which you are a member to finish things, and maintain good relations with the group; organizing team activities & making sure they happen. Transactional leaders clarify responsibilities, expectations, & tasks to be done. Transformational leaders motivate others to perform at an extremely high level while fostering a climate of trust & commitment. When do you know it’s best to lead and when to follow?

  2. Love: Today is a brilliant day to create close connection with your friends, family, and partner. You know how good it feels when connection is reciprocated!  The strength of love means valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing & caring are reciprocated; being close to people. The love strength is most connected to the overall satisfaction of life.  Those leading with love, express empathy, tolerance, and forgiveness in relationships which increases their health & life span in those relationships. Try on practicing spontaneous, in-the-moment loving acts that don’t require extensive planning, memory, or forethought as a way of expressing & boosting this strength.

  3. Bravery: Do you have that one sibling or friend who always had your back, and never shrunk from threat?  They were always there, and during the scariest times. Well- they are expressing their bravery strength!  Bravery is aligned with the virtue of courage, and means to not shrink from threat, challenge, pain or difficulty (dang)! These peeps speak up for what is right; acting on convictions even when unpopular.  Using this strength is a resilience builder as challenges are overcome & active coping skills are built. Do you admire this strength and want to pump it up? Start to focus on the outcomes of courageous acts: thinking of the person you will help, reminding yourself of the goodness of your action, and what other strengths you will rely on to support you.

  4. Humor: Who doesn’t love a good laugh?  Ah- nothing feels better; right?  And having people surrounding you who naturally make you laugh; bonus! Somedays, we stop what we are working on, and take a 10 minute break to watch stand up comedy on netflix! But not so seriously, Humor aligns to the virtue of transcendence and we aren’t surprised.  It means liking to laugh & tease & bringing smiles to other people. This strength ranks high on increasing well-being, life satisfaction, and positive emotions. Take our advice & take a break to laugh today.

  5. Humility: Ready to strengthen your humility strength?  Okay! Allow all of your accomplishments today speak for themselves. Some people do this well, while a whole bunch of us are dying to share everything we’ve done.  Humility aligns with the virtue of temperance, and not regarding oneself as more special than one is. People that lead with this strength have strong social bonds, and is one of the least endorsed strengths across the globe.  We took this strength into practice the month of January, and we dare you to do the same for a week! Notice what you are left feeling, what space opens for you as a result.

  6. Forgiveness: Forgiveness; the strength aligned with the virtue of temperance.  Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting the shortcomings of others; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful.  We’d like to point out that forgiveness is not forgetting, reconciliation, pardoning, condoning, or denial. When you practice forgiving, you get rid of the ick of it living inside of you. Consider a time when you forgave someone who did not first apologize to you. What character strengths did you use to do that?   People who are forgiving experience less anger, anxiety, depression and hostility than not.

  7. Fairness: The saying “equal opportunity for all” is so true about your strength of fairness.  Fairness is one of the five most frequently endorsed character strengths across the globe.  Fair-minded individuals are more likely to engage in positive, prosocial behavior! Fairness simply means you treat people the same according to notions of fairness & justice; not letting personal feelings bias decisions about others; giving everyone a fair chance. Hmmm….what situations at work or home challenge your capacity to be fair?  Increase your fairness strength by collaborating with peers in decisions that impact them. Give them opportunity to disagree.

Are you ready to dive into your Strengths?

Want more? We talk all about Strengths in our 1:1 coaching sessions and our group coaching platform HighPer Space. Ready to say YES to unblocking what’s holding you back and use your strengths to elevate your life? Shoot us a note. We’d love to chat.

Wishing you your YES,

B

Ready for more YES? Enjoy these other blog posts, too!

February Focus: Strengths Recap Week 1

We focused our efforts this month to positively expand your perspective on yourself, others, and your environment by focusing on The Character Strengths as outlined by the VIA Institute of Character. To learn more about the Strengths, read our introductory blog post here. We’ve even included access to take your own FREE Strengths assessment to really be able to leverage all the information we’re sharing throughout the month over on Instagram.

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STRENGTHS Recap: Week 1

Awareness of your strengths is the first step to Living Your Yes. We kicked the month off with 7 amazing strengths. Read on for a recap of each strength and some though provoking questions to help you leverage these strengths and LIVE YOUR YES!

  1. Perspective: Think about all the people close to you, now who do you turn to when you need to see your situation differently?  Most often then not, those people lead with the strength of perspective. Perspective is a strength connected to the virtue of wisdom.  When someone uses their perspective strength they give wise counsel to others. They are good at looking at a situation that make sense to oneself, and to other people.  Looking to strengthen your perspective strength? Start with answering this question: In what situations do you feel most comfortable (and least comfortable) in sharing your perspective?  

  2. Hope: Let’s be real friends- sometimes shit happens & overtime you lose your ability to see the best in the future.  You’re so stuck in your past thoughts, you now believe them. We understand, and have some cheery news for you today.  Did you know you have the strength of hope in you? It might be buried deep, but trust us; you got it. Hope aligns to the virtue of transcendence. When you express hope, you are expecting the best in the future & working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can be brought about.  Time to realign with your hope? Start here: Write down the old story that leaves you without hope on a piece of paper. And write the whole story; details and all. Next, circle only the facts of the story; not the interpretation of the fact. What are you left seeing? How can hope support you to move forward; visualize it & write it down.

  3. Honesty: You know those people who have such a genuineness about them?  Every time you see them they are so sincere. What you are witnessing is the strength of honesty being expressed.  Honesty is a virtue of courage & means speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way & acting in a sincere way; being without pretense, taking responsibility for one’s feelings & actions.  Curious to grow your honesty strength? Start here: In what situations do you find your need to temper your honesty or avoid the full the truth?

  4. Creativity: Know someone who is really good at generating multiple solutions to solve a problem?  They take a step back & explore the unknown to tap into something original. What you are most likely seeing is the individual’s creativity strength in expression.  Creativity is aligned with the virtue wisdom. Creativity means thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize & do things; includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it.  Here’s a tip to express your creativity: Ask yourself the next you’re faced with challenge to think outside of the box. Notice what stops your creativity. Continue to rumble when you are problem solving using your creative mind!

  5. Judgment: We love our friends who are so good at looking at all sides of a situation before making a decision. They aren’t easily manipulated, and are good at resisting suggestions.  These are the friends we need around when we are quick to make rash decision; right? What you see being expressed is your friend’s strength of judgment. Judgment connects to the virtue of wisdom.  Judgment peeps are good at thinking things through and examining them from all sides; not jumping to conclusions; being able to change one’s mind in light of evidence, weighing all evidence fairly. Here’s an exercise to boost your judgment strength: challenge your personal biases & opinions by seeking information that runs counter to your beliefs, attitudes, & behaviors.

  6. Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence: Have you ever stopped to observe a flower, a tree, mountain, or the ocean & felt awe struck? You saw something beyond the tangibleness, and couldn’t quite take your eyes off of it.  We like to say you’ve awakened your strength of appreciation of beauty & excellence friend. This strength means noticing & appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience. We encourage you to take time each day to notice beauty in either nature, art, or in the moral goodness of others.  

  7. Kindness: A few friends come to our mind when we ponder on the kindness strength. They are the do good for other people; people.  The kindness strength means doing favors and god deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them. It’s one of the top 5 most prevalent character strengths across the globe. It’s power absorbs some of our  stress & trauma. To also point out, kindness toward oneself reaps numerous benefits including optimism, connectedness to others, and mastery of goals. Over the next week, write down when you observe another practicing kindness, and when you do as well.

Are you ready to dive into your Strengths?

Want more? We talk all about Strengths in our 1:1 coaching sessions and our group coaching platform HighPer Space. Ready to say YES to unblocking what’s holding you back and use your strengths to elevate your life? Shoot us a note. We’d love to chat.

Wishing you your YES,

B

Ready for more YES? Enjoy these other blog posts, too!