Giving Ourselves Permission to Want What We Want

Giving Ourselves Permission to Want What We Want

In my family, when it's your birthday, you are empowered to make more choices than usual.  The birthday girl (or boy) gets to select their favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner.  They decide if presents get opened in the morning or evening and get to request a special activity that they love.  The whole family supports their choices as a celebration of who they are.

During my birthday last week, I noticed how many choices I allowed myself because it was my special day that no one was preventing me from making every other day. 

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Responding to Feedback When You Feel Triggered

Responding to Feedback When You Feel Triggered

Why does feedback hurt our feelings?  Here’s the image that often helps me identify what is being triggered.  Imagine yourself as a baby.  As you interacted with the world, you learned behaviors and strategies that helped get your needs met.  When you smiled, others smiled back at you.  When you fell and hurt yourself, adults rushed over to comfort you or gave you space to see how you felt or scolded you not to cry.  With each of these patterns of interactions, you started to create beliefs about yourself, about the world, and about how the world treats you.  Most of these beliefs are unconscious.  While we like to think of ourselves as highly adaptable people, always capable of learning new things, the truth is that our lives are simplified by having these beliefs to fall back on. And we have powerful enforcers like the superego (a.k.a. your inner critic) that are constantly looking for evidence that enforces these beliefs and ignoring information that contradicts them.  

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Inclusion Starts With How You Treat Yourself

Inclusion Starts With How You Treat Yourself

“Every part of you is welcome and needed in your leadership.”  

If you have seen this declaration in my email footer, you know that I’m passionate about enabling people to show up as themselves at work.  In teams where individual differences are valued and each person feels invited to contribute authentically, engagement increases and big problems get solved.  There are many ways to foster inclusion at work and we often focus on shifting cultures at the group level.  That's why so many leaders are surprised when I ask them whether they are including and welcoming themselves in the same way.  Quite often, they realize that they tell their team they value authenticity but send a different message through their behavior toward themselves. ... It is by modeling the authenticity and vulnerability that they hope to support in their teams that leaders can create the psychological safety necessary for true inclusion.  Here are some thoughts on how to do that.

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