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Ro H.

How can I practice mindfulness during feedback?

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After reading through the introductions I realized that so many of you have experience with business/corporate mindfulness workshops. So, I thought I'd ask  the community for a point in the right direction. :classic_smile: 

I'm completely new to practicing, but I'm curious how I might embrace mindfulness at work. Specifically when giving or receiving feedback. Especially receiving it! 😅 I tend to avoid having difficult conversations where feedback is involved - but you can't grow and learn without those moments. I'm a generally open and receptive person in other areas of my life, I'd like to ensure I bring that to my work relationships as well but I'm not exactly sure how or where to start. 

 

Any guidance is welcome, from reading suggestions and links, to information here, or your own tips if you like...

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Hello Ro,

I don't know  if it fits your questions, what crossed my mind were aspects of "self-compassion"  concerning  "difficult conversations" ,

Maybe you will also find some helpful ideas on mindful.org

I wish you patience and joy in your explorations, your journey with mindfulness.

tribal

 

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Yes exactly, thank you! Knowing I should include phrases like "self compassion" in my search helps me filter & find the types of resources I'm seeking, which I can apply.  

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Hey @Ro H. - I really appreciate this question and what it points to. While mindfulness really does help us to be more open, receptive, understanding, etc., most of us still have 'blind spots' to work through so to speak. These could be in our intimate relationships, family relationships, workplace relationships, or any other aspect of life. But in any case, receiving feedback is not always easy.

I think it really comes down to communication (namely listening) and coming down to the heart. I can relate to this more so in my intimate relationship than my work, but in any case, I've really had to learn how to hold space for my partner to express his needs without reacting immediately. I remind myself to breathe through my heart, soften my shoulders, and open my chest - these simple adjustments really help me to hear what is being said and then, when it is my 'turn' to respond, I have a clearer/less egoic understanding of what the situation calls for.

I think this can apply to the workplace as well. It can of course take time to remember to make those small physical adjustments, but I do think that breathing more fully and softening the chest and shoulders can help us to move out of the defensive mode and into present-moment awareness.

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1 hour ago, Gillian Sanger said:

I've really had to learn how to hold space for my partner to express his needs without reacting immediately. I remind myself to breathe through my heart, soften my shoulders, and open my chest - these simple adjustments really help me to hear what is being said and then, when it is my 'turn' to respond, I have a clearer/less egoic understanding of what the situation calls for.

Ohhh thank you Gillian for this very practical and simple idea  🙂

It relates to a question, I came across today, sometimes useful in communications settings after having listened : "What do you need from me in this situation?"

Wishing you well,  tribal

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6 hours ago, Gillian Sanger said:

I remind myself to breathe through my heart, soften my shoulders, and open my chest - these simple adjustments really help me to hear what is being said and then, when it is my 'turn' to respond, I have a clearer/less egoic understanding of what the situation calls for.

I think this can apply to the workplace as well.

Thank you so much @Gillian Sanger

I love this approach. I've taken body language workshops in the past (for PR) and I just realized that I had the posture down, but not the mentality and heart to go with it (open and receptive body language, closed mind). Thank you for helping to get me a step closer to connecting the two! I'm excited to practice breathing through the heart

 

 

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@tribal ahhh yes I love that question. Rather than looking at what 'I' need, we can shift our lens to look outward - what does the other need, or what does the situation need. OR more broadly, what is really going on here when I broaden my perspective.

@Ro H. what a powerful insight! It takes courage to acknowledge where we are not as open as we could be, and this sense of half-openness (if we could call it that) is so relatable. Sometimes on the outside it would seem that we are open and receptive, but what if our inner world is not in alignment with that? It takes a lot of courage to view ourselves honestly and compassionately this way. Thank you so much for sharing this and for starting this discussion. 

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@Leanne I just read your introduction post. What you wrote really resonated

Quote

Having a busy work life and feeling overloaded has made me realize exactly why meditation is so important. 

 

I'm tagging you here in case the discussion is of interest considering you mentioned bringing mindfulness to the work place in your intro! 🙂

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I am so excited to be apart of this group first of all. Secondly just reading the post here has really made a difference... I feel that I because I strongly desire to help others and the have ability...I need to be sure that I am at my best.  This is why I had to find the best practice in meditation for  myself.  As I have studied mindfulness and practiced it in my own life, I so want to share with others daily..... It has totally changed my life!!

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@Kimberly That's so wonderful! I'm really glad you are finding this group inspiring. What are some of your 'best practices', or the ones that work best for you?
And, as it relates to this topic, how can those practices be used when we are giving or receiving feedback?

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 I really try to own my own experience, be extremely transparent, a clear mirror. and I try to always have the intentions of being of benefit to others..... I Breathe...Always the Breathe....this keeps my focus and my calm. It also helps me effectively offer the same to others....I have really learned well to be in the moment if I stay in my calmness....owning the experience.... Its become quite an awesome part of my lifestyle personally and a sharing with my clients as well. My experience is to also most important to have a balanced view for sure

Also as a recipient of feedback. Ive learned that I should keep an open mind, always be aware of my own state of mind and dont justify or be defensive. All of that is so important. 

These things have caused me to have great experiences personally and with others.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Kimberly said:

always be aware of my own state of mind and dont justify or be defensive.

I love what you've said - especially in reference to the human tendency to justify or defend. I think once we start witnessing this behaviour within ourselves, our awareness of it grows and we start to gain greater clarity in all situations.

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Self compassion.

I am too hard on myself. When I hear criticism, I tend to believe it. I get angry with the messenger, otherwise I will cry.

I breathe in. I breathe out. Rhythmically lulling myself away from distracting emotions. My racing heart calms.

I listen to the breath.

I am open.

My mind is ready to hear the messenger's truth.

 

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@Sondra - thank you for sharing your experience with this. I can relate to the feeling of anger arising in the face of criticism, as I think many can. Becoming aware of this is courageous as it can be easier to turn a blind eye on our own reactions.

Self-compassion (as you mentioned) is so important and often challenging - especially when we are right in the midst of receiving feedback. But I think that increasing awareness of the way we speak to ourselves at any moment goes a long way - and eventually, I believe we can embody this heart-centered presence in even the most trying of moments.

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I learned it is important to learn that you need to know what your overall goals are before you receive feedback.

So before you get your feedback you must contemplate about that. Your goals must be the leading thought behind your respons.

And when you are taken by suprise, than prospone your reaction, so that you can respond later and not react immediatly, which can protect you from getting in a defence reaction, which will not be of benefit.

Especially because you can become overwhelmed by emotions when the feedback looks like  a threath and can give you the feeling you are not respected or perhaps you are getting the idea that you will loose your job.

 

The thing is that you must try to recognise the emotion in your thoughts and disconnect them from your overall target.

You can use mindfulness to recognise these less targetserving emotions. It is not my intention to skip these emotions, just share them with good friends and respond receiving and make a summary in which you tell what you factually heard people say.

And then you can say you agree and you can do something about it, or you can disagree and tell in a neutral non agressive intention with facts why.

This concept has helped me from not drowning in emotions anymore when I get feedback and to actual respond instead to react.

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