I have a problem.
You probably guessed it by the title.
I'm one of those people who run for fun. Like half marathons. And a couple of times I ran a marathon too.
I laugh whenever I read One Fish Two Fish to my sons because there's a line that reads "they run for sun in the hot, hot sun." Clearly Dr. Suess wrote that part just for me.
People are amazed when I tell them that I run long distances like this but not so much because of the distance. Don't get me wrong, they think it's a feat for sure (and it is!) but what is more impressive, they tell me, is that I find the time to do it.
As a mom of two, a wife, a full time worker, a business owner, and a home owner (among many things) how do I find the time for it?
It all comes down to one big thing: priorities. I find the time to run because I make it a priority, which inevitability means that other things in my life are not priorities and other things become priorities.
Eating healthy and getting to bed at a decent time are priorities for me so I can run in the morning. Binging on Netflix until 2am is not.
What's something you want to do? Are you not doing it because you don't have the time to do it or is it not a priority?
The last time you received feedback, what did it feel like?
No, not what feedback did you get. What feelings actually came up for you?
Many of us have the knee-jerk reaction to get defensive when we receive feedback.
But why is this?
There's lots of dimensions to this question, but here's two ideas: 1.) People aren't good at giving feedback. 2.) People aren't good at receiving feedback.
We all know about 1, but rather than point fingers at someone else, stick with me for a minute while we look inward at why we aren't good at receiving feedback.
There's one big reason we aren't good at receiving feedback and that is: we have a story that goes along with the feedback we received. In most cases, the feedback isn't what causes us to get defensive, what causes us to get defensive is the story we tell ourselves about who we are in relation to the feedback.
For example, I got some feedback from a peer that I should change the wording of a sentence in my eLearning. My peer had the best intentions. In his eyes, by suggesting the change the wording, what I was trying to say would become clearer for my learners and create a better experience for them - my end goal. But what I heard when my peer told me about my sentence was that he thinks I am a terrible writer which quickly leads me to think that everyone thinks that I'm a terrible writer, which quickly leads me down the path of "why am I even writing?! This whole blog is a failure! I'm a terrible person!" And with that mindset, it's no doubt that I rolled my eyes at my peer and said sarcastically, "thanks for the feedback."
But what if I considered the feedback at face value? If I looked to the feedback as an opportunity to change one little thing that could make a big impact, rather than a list of items I need to improve on?
First of all, that seems less exhausting! Secondly, I am more likely to make a small change that can have a big impact!
This way of thinking isn't easy. I'm on a mission to change the way I think when I receive feedback and - I have to say - it's not easy, but it's totally worth it.
Today, try to take one piece of feedback you receive at face value; don't read into it. Instead, notice how it feels and see what happens.
Have you ever attended a medium to large sized conference on your own?
Meaning, you're the only one from your company or organization there?
I have and despite having people all around me, it was pretty lonely.
Thankfully that was not my experience at the conference I attended last week.
Last week I really lucked out and happened to sit by my conference buddy within just an hour of checking into my hotel.
Amanda and I met at the bar on the first night of the conference. Both of us, traveling alone, were eating dinner alone at the hotel bar. I introduced myself and we discovered we were both there for the same conference. The rest is history.
Amanda and I quickly connected and decided to get back together at meals throughout the conference to discuss what we learned.
Not only was this conference not lonely for me but I learned more than I have ever learned at a conference before.
There's something to be said about the process of learning when you engage in the journey with someone else.
Thanks Amanda for being my conference buddy and helping me learn so much more than I could have on my own.