Do you ever find yourself spinning into mind drama when you get 'constructive feedback'?
This episode is about how to respond to the unproductive emotions that come up when we get negative feedback.
Key takeaways include:
- Practice your awareness of unproductive thoughts and emotions triggered by negative comments or feedback
- Use metacognition to observe and regulate these thoughts and emotions without judgment
- Identify adjacent emotions that are slightly more productive as a starting point for shifting towards positive and constructive thoughts and emotions
- Utilize the concept of an emotion clock to recognize and differentiate between different emotions
And you can start having those thoughts in parallel and allowing it to happen, allowing those thoughts to happen in parallel. That helps you regulate your own emotions and it also helps you strengthen your medic cognition is what it's called. Your ability to think about your thinking, which is an absolutely critical leadership skill that I believe is not talked about enough.
So this is that metacognition. You're feeling all the feelings you're having. All the unpredictive thoughts. And at the same time, you're noticing it without judgment. Then, what you want to do is find and deliberately choose. A more productive thought and emotion. You want a pairing is kind of like wine and cheese. Right.
You want to have a thought that goes along with the emotion that's going to be more productive.
well, Hey there, I'm Liz St. Jean, and this is the Rise in your Nine to Five podcast. Where I help quietly ambitious leaders who want to have meaningful and fulfilling careers, making an impact in the world. It's where strategy meets intuition to become a better leader with more joy, less stress and endless impact.
So let's break free from perfectionism, imposter thoughts. And that inner rule keeper that keeps you in a career comfort zone. It's time to become unapologetically you. And step into the life you were meant to live. We're going to talk presence, productivity, and having it all. Or as my four-year-old would say, we're going to take over the world. So let's get to it.
Well, hello there. And welcome back to the show. So at the time of recording, we are, I don't even know what day it is. It's that time you've seen them beams, right? Is that time between Christmas and new year? You don't know what day it is. And I've talked to lots of people, people who do celebrate Christmas, people who don't celebrate Christmas, people who sort of celebrate, but they're not at all religious. Everyone's as the same thing. This is the time of year where you just don't even know which way is up. One of my best friends was even saying, she feels like this should be like a free year.
This is like a freebie year, like a gimme or a freebie week. Sorry, not a year a week. This is the freebie week. We should just get this week for free. And I couldn't agree more. This just feels like the it's the in-between week. So we have new year's coming up new year's Eve on the 31st. And if you're listening to this in time before then, And you're on my email list. You'll know that I've got a really special offer sitting in your inbox. I hope you are taking advantage of it. It's a really cool offer. If you aren't on my email, so you don't know what I'm talking about and it's not yet been new year's Eve. Rito to me, get on my email list, send me an email.
Let me know you. You can say, Hey, I listened to your podcast or some sort of special, what is it? I didn't see it. Let me know you can reach out. And I'll make sure you get access to it as well. Because what it is is I am running a really cool event in January. It's happening on January 15th. It is a five day virtual event and it's called the confidence catalyst challenge. So it's a challenge style. And what we're doing is we're going to be going through a guided reflection.
That's not, wouldn't take a lot of time. This is not going to be time intensive. It's just happening over the course of five days. And it's going to give you the time and space and expert guidance to come up with a plan to come up with a personal development plan, a career development plan. Something that's meaningful, something that motivates you.
It's you're going to be your plan for 2024. And the reason I'm doing this, this, this come up over the years and I've seen it for others, for myself as well back in the day, but I definitely see it for others. What, which is that. When you're putting together a personal development plan or an individual learning plan or whatever it is that your company calls it. Almost all the time.
We just jump into listing out courses. Like it's a lot of the times, even the technology is set up that way. Like basically all you can kind of do is add courses to your plan. And we just go straight to it and it's very natural. It makes so much sense, right? Because we think of learning, we think of courses and we're thinking about all the courses we want to take. And on top of it, a lot of our, our own managers out there as wonderful as they are, they don't have the expertise or the guidance or the time to really sit down with you and come up with a really thoughtful plan.
And you're so busy in the day-to-day of the managing your life on top of managing your work. And especially if you have kids or elder care, other responsibilities, You're in the community, your own health, taking time for that, there's so much going on that you're in this kind of routine, the hamster wheel of the day to day that we don't typically step aside and really sit down and consider. And even if you do, you might be sitting there, what kind of scratching your head wondering like, well, how do I, what should I put on my plan?
What does a plan even look like from a leadership development perspective? So I've got you, I've got your back for this. I'm doing this event. It's $20. And here's what you're getting for $20. You were getting a set of videos. Short videos, five minutes, maybe 10 minutes maximum every day. That's going to take you through step-by-step on creating the plan. You're going to get a workbook so you can get all of your thoughts into one place, not just sort of scattered all over the place. And you're going to get a template for how to create a one page. Personal development plan holds all of it together.
One page, one place to look for 2024. And you're getting guidance for me. So I've been doing this for over seven years now. I've been working in learning about leadership development. I have a graduate degree in this. I have been creating and helping people create their leadership plans. I've got you.
I've got your back for this. And you're even going to get a Facebook group. I'm going to do a pop-up Facebook group. So you'll have accountability and you can grow your network. With like-minded professionals with people who are like you. Mid-level leaders quietly, ambitious. Want to make positive impact. Doing it for the right reasons.
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$20 sounds pretty good, right? All right? So I hope I see you there. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me. You can find me on LinkedIn, Instagram reply to any of my emails, or you can find me firstname.lastname@example.org, but I really hope to see you there. And the website for that, I didn't mention the website yet. It is at the mint ambition.com/challenge. That's the mint ambition.com/challenge.
Okay, so let's get into D two today's topic. I'm maybe talking a little bit quickly because I have about 10 minutes. Oh, nine, nine minutes. And I needed to go pick up my son. So this is going to be a quick one, which is, which is fun too. Okay. Today's topic is around. Getting out of the mind drama that happens when you get, or you hear a negative comment about yourself. This may be, you know, constructive criticism.
It may be outright negative, or at least it feels negative. You know, that kind of comment that just feels like someone just punched you in the gut. Honestly. And a lot of us I've had this at some point or other. It could be something sometimes something you overheard that might happen. It could be feedback you're given by someone in authority, your boss, or a senior leader.
They say something to you and you're kind of. Taken aback. It was nothing that you expected. You have no idea where it came from. It could be a comment on your performance review. Right. And the one thing about it. I, so little story I want to share with you. I remember the very first time I did an all-inclusive resort.
This was years ago. Oh gosh. I can't remember how many years ago. Anyways, we were going to Cuba. I'm Canadian. So we were allowed to travel to Cuba. And. It was so interesting as I was doing the research and looking for a place to go. I noticed something and I've heard it called the TripAdvisor effect. And the reason is, is I noticed I could read a review of a place that maybe has like 4.5 out of five stars. But then I read a negative review and it just ruined the hotel for me.
Like I just couldn't go there because I read that negative review. My brain couldn't stop focusing on that. And so they call it the TripAdvisor effect because they notice that when you're doing research on going to hotels, you can read. A hundred positive comments about a hotel. And then you read one, especially if it's a well-written lengthy negative review. And that just almost wipes out that other hundred positive comments. That's how our brains operate.
It's so fascinating. Our brains have this negativity bias, and I've talked about this on other episodes. Our brains have a negativity bias that it just latches onto negative things. So when we're looking at reviews, we can't help, but latch on to the negative reviews. Even if everything else is positive. And it's the same for ourselves.
So when we get a negative comment again, we overheard it it's in a performance review or we're actually given it verbally that verbal feedback that we have, that moment of verbal feedback, kind of like. Getting a bucket of cold water dumped on us. Our brain. Latches onto it. And it can start to spin out.
Okay. So if you've had this. Please know, and I, hopefully you do already know this and hopefully I'm just reinforcing, but in case you didn't know this it's really common. It's really natural. It's a really natural experience, your brain it's it's like it becomes, you know, you have all this positive feedback over the years and you hit one small negative thing. And it, that's the only thing your brain can think of it latches on and it can't see anything else. And you start to spin. And you probably are aware of this.
I, most of my clients are highly aware of this. We become very unproductive. Right. So you get told something negative. You can't stop thinking about it. And it's really hard to be productive on other things it's really hard to overcome because your brain starts spinning out. Hey, you cert. Being upset about it.
You start beating yourself up or you start getting frustrated, right? All of these unproductive thoughts and emotions. Okay. When I say unproductive, I don't mean unwarranted. And I certainly don't mean to suggest her unnatural. Right. I said, they're absolutely natural. It's. Absolutely understandable that we're not going to be productive when we're having those thoughts and emotions.
When we feel that bucket of cold ice that's dumped on us, we. If it feels like we got punched in the gut, right? Cause that's, sometimes it feels like that. If it feels like it came out of nowhere. It does feel like that. The thing is. I know that you are the kind of person who wants to know, well, how do I get out of that? Right because you're listening to this podcast.
You're like, okay, how do I shift out of that? How do I get from that unproductive place into a place that's more productive. Hey, so very first thing you need to do. And this is probably, I've probably said this on a bunch of podcasts. I think I said it even in the most recent one. Most important thing is to notice, pay attention. Note, it says that it's happening. And notice without judgment. And this will take time.
So please don't beat yourself up at all. Like this is you get into like Metta beating yourself up of like, you want to sh you want to know to that judgment, but then you judge and you feel embarrassed or shame, and then you beat yourself up for feeling that way. I to this day, even with all the work I've done in the self, the self work and self coaching that I do, I still go through this.
So it does take time. And I promise you, it does get better. It improves the more you do it. It's a muscle. So work on noticing that it's happening. Being neutral about it. So no judgment, just noticing like, oh, I'm spinning out. Huh? Oh, that was an unproductive thought. Right. And here you really want to get in the habit of being able to get specific about the emotions that are happening. And this takes practice and you can absolutely get help on this. I mean, for one, if you are working with a coach or you have a group, you can talk about it. You can ask. You can also go to. Uh, resources like emotion wheels.
If you Google emotion wheel, these are fantastic resources. There are even books like the emotional dictionary. Uh, Bernie Brown's book Atlas of the heart. It's it's a little bit more like an academic. Like a university book, but it's quite good. You can also go to chat GPT. So I did that. I went to chat GBT and asked about the different kinds of emotions that would come up.
So here's some examples of what it would it gave. So gave. Uh, insecurity. Anxiety embarrassment, shame, defensiveness frustration. Right. Like, there's lots of different emotions that can get us into that unproductive place. And what you want to be able to do is to identify it, to see it, to name it. To get to a place where you can do that without judgment.
And you can start having those thoughts in parallel and allowing it to happen, allowing those thoughts to happen in parallel. That helps you regulate your own emotions and it also helps you strengthen your medic cognition is what it's called your ability to think about your thinking, which is an absolutely critical leadership skill that I believe is not talked about enough.
I think that's a highly, highly important. Uh, leadership skill. In fact, the studies backing up as well. We just don't talk about you don't hear about it very much. Okay. Once you're able to notice that it's happening and you're noticing it without judgment. Right? So this is that metacognition. You're feeling all the feelings you're having.
All the unpredictive thoughts. And at the same time, you're noticing it without judgment. You get to that place. Then, what you want to do is find and deliberately choose. A more productive thought. And emotion you want a pairing is kind of like wine and cheese. Right. You want to have a thought that goes along with the emotion that's going to be more productive.
Now, when this happens and you are in that place where you are looking for that new emotion to have to consciously choose that new emotion and that new thought. You could go so far as to think of the polar opposite. So let's look at some examples. I'm going to take three examples of unproductive emotions that are pretty common.
So you may have experienced this. When you get that negative comment or negative feedback. So one unproductive emotion is indignation, right? We're just completely indignant. Perhaps a little bit of frustration in there as well, but at indignations very common. Embarrassment. That's a really common one, too.
Right. And I think that the indignation we have is often is to mask into. To really, um, push down that feeling of embarrassment that we really have. And again, this is so common, right? This is a really common experience. And then we also get defensiveness. Right? We get defensive. Right? Raise your hand.
I'm raising my hand. I'm right there with you. Right. Getting, because let's be honest, getting negative feedback. It doesn't, it doesn't feel good, right? No matter how well intentioned, no matter how well it's delivered negative comments, negative feedback. Critical or constructive, no matter how it's couched, it never feels that great.
And so it's really natural to have these emotions like indignation, embarrassment, and defensiveness. Now we could go to the polar opposite of that. Right. And, you know, it's kind of like be transformative transcend ourselves and become our higher selves. And when you can do that and those occasions when you do it, that's amazing.
Right? So like an example would be indignation. You'd go from indignation to feeling gratitude, being thankful for the emotion.
But that's really hard. Okay. That is really hard. And I don't want you to, I don't want you to not strive it for that. I'm not saying that at all. I'm just recognizing like, can we all just recognize that that's hard to go from indignation to gratitude, right. Let's look at embarrassment. Okay. To go from embarrassment, a polar opposite might be confident. Right.
That's hard. Look at defensiveness when you're feeling defensive about the comment. The polar opposite might be openness. That's hard to go from. Totally defensive to totally open. And here I want to really borrow from Bernay brown. Again. I mentioned earlier about her book, Atlas of the heart. I love that book. It's so fascinating. And one of the things she talks about is adjacent emotions.
So the idea that emotion is just adjacent rather than trying to jump to the opposite. Right? So this is where I'm getting this from. Other places as well, but especially from her book Atlas of the heart. And the idea of an adjacent emotion is that it's just a little bit to the side. It's not quite the polar opposite and here's a visual that works for me so well for this.
And I want to share with you on an offer it to you is, imagine a clock, right? Your, your traditional round clock, not a digital one. The, the. The mechanical around clock. Right? You got the 12 at the top, the six at the bottom and all the numbers going around. I want you to imagine that the unproductive emotion is at six.
Okay. That's your unproductive emotion. So maybe indignation or embarrassment, defensiveness, maybe a hot combo of all three, right? That's your six. You're 12 would be the polar opposite, right? The higher self. The, the transcendent, the, you know, being a better person taking the, not even just taking the high road, I guess you wouldn't even, you wouldn't even have that kind of thought.
Right. It's just that you experience that negative, that negative comment differently. You don't actually experience it as a negative comment. Right? So if, if indignation is at the six, gratitude would be the 12. If embarrassment is at the six confidence that the 12. If defensiveness is at the six. Openness is at the 12. And so on.
So, so on, so on, you can keep going for all the different kinds of unproductive emotions that you might be having. What I'm saying? And what Bray offers as well. Brittany Brown offers is that. We might want to start with the adjacent emotions, start with the emotions that like, if, if indignation is a six, start with an emotion at the five, the four or the seven or eight, depending on which way you want to go around the clock. So let's talk about that. I'm going to give you a few examples. Indignation. And adjacent emotion. Maybe you can get to curiosity. Okay.
And your thinking. You can get a thought, like, okay, let's try to understand. Why this feedback might be given. What, what could I learn from it? Right. And you're able to kind of say to yourself, like, I'm not going to take all of it because that's that's too much. I can't be, I, I'm not able to get to a place of gratitude. But maybe I can get to a place of curiosity.
And so what you want to do for your clock?
Well, here's what I recommend is dry. I actually, I highly recommend this, draw this out. Get a blank paper, draw this out, draw a clock, whether or not actually whether or not you've had a negative experience recently, because it wasn't going to say is, uh, it would actually work better if you haven't, you can do this neutrally right now.
If you haven't just come out of a negative experience. Start practicing it ahead of time. Right? Draw out that clock put the unproductive emotion at the bottom. Indignation or whatever it is. And start thinking about what emotions fill it out. For me, curiosity is probably up at the three. The three or the nine, right.
Either which whichever side. It's probably not right beside any. Indignation. It's not right beside gratitude. It's going to take a little bit of work to get to curiosity. But not as much work as it'll take to get to gratitude. Hey, let's look at embarrassment. If embarrassment is at the six and let's say confidence is at the 12. Ooh, that's a hard one. Maybe in between. We have acceptance. Acceptance and a thought like the inner talk, you can give yourself that self-talk, that self-coaching and give yourself. Will be something like. It's okay to make mistakes. I acknowledge that this happened. And I will grow from it. I will grow from this. I can learn something here. And we accept. So we're maybe not at that confidence place, but we're further away from embarrassment where we're for. We're further into a more productive emotion. And for you, something like acceptance. Maybe that is even closer to confidence. I mean, that's really tough to get to. Well, maybe it's not right.
Just depends. Everyone's going to. be different. All then the emotions around that. around that. Um, clock going from the six to the 12. You're going to be different for everyone. Okay. Let's do one more. Let's take defensiveness because whew. I'm familiar with defensiveness. And if, if you're anything like me or like a lot of people in my audience, You're probably not verbally defensive to the person you might be.
Right. You might be right in there. And being defensive, defending yourself, defending why you did what you did, but more than likely you're having the argument in your head, or even much more likely you're venting to a friend. Right? Right. I do that. It's very common. So please don't feel mad at yourself for doing a very, very common. What we want to do though, is recognize like, okay, I've vented. I've I've done my venting. I've got the defense in his enemy.
Now I want to move towards something else. More productive. So the polar opposite here, probably something like openness being open. To the feedback instead of being defensive, instead of putting your guard up and coming up with explanations. We're open to it. Similar to acceptance, but slightly different. Now the openness is at the 12. That might be hard to get to, especially right away. So an adjacent emotion. Might be reflection. Just taking that moment, reflecting on it. And the inner self-talk to get you, there could be something like let's take a moment.
Let's consider this feedback. Is there any kind of valid point here? That I can use. And a lot of these reinforce each other, right? Like, is there you're, we're getting curious, we're accepting or reflecting. You're gonna find. It's a lot of, um, variations on a theme. But it can be. Very very helpful for you to do this. Draw out that clock, draw your own clock. Think through a past experience. And draw out your own clock.
What comes up for you at the six? And I would highly recommend do, do a clock for every unproductive emotion. Don't don't stack them. You want to separate them out? Okay. Come up with the different, because you were, this is going to help you recognize your emotions. And be able to tease them apart, nuance them.
So they're not just all jumbled together. And then that way you're going to be better able at recognizing different emotions. Because different emotions will come up and how they come up together. They might come up together differently. And the more you look at them in isolation, the better you'll be at recognizing when they come up.
And with that. That is our episode ended up going longer than I expected. I don't know if you caught that. I actually had to record this in two installments because I did not manage to get it recorded before I went and picked up my son. But everything worked out just as, as opposed to. So as a reminder, we have the confidence, catalyst challenge coming up in January. I really hope to see you there.
It's going to be, it's going to be so much fun. We're going to have such a great time, January 15th to 19th. And if you're listening to this in real time, if you enroll before January 1st, if you get the early enrollment link, you'll get a special bonus, a guided visualization from, from yours. Truly. So I really hope to see you there.
The website to enroll is the mint ambition.com/challenge. That's the mint ambition.com/challenge. Looking forward to seeing you there and have yourself a wonderful new year.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. Now, before you go, make sure you click to follow the show this way you don't have to go looking for the latest episode. I'll come to you. Just click the plus button or the follow, and you'll get the latest episode fresh off the press. Thanks again. And remember that you are amazing. Now, get out there and RISE.