Leadr CEO recently wrote a blog about crushing your inner criticin order to achieve greater clarity and growth in your career and in your life.
He shared that in order to overcome negative self-narratives, you have to acknowledge that the critic exists, identify when the voice is loudest, and then attack the problem with productive strategies to get to the root cause of the problem.
Sometimes having a tool in place helps turn steps like this from a nice game plan into a true strategy.
Here’s what that looks like practically using Leadr as a tool to guide the process.
1. Ask for feedback
Sometimes our self-criticism comes from a lack of clarity. Instead of spending time worrying if you’re meeting your boss’s expectations, how you really did on your presentation, or whether your team is feeling disengaged, just ask.
Leadr’s feedback tool was created with the understanding that open communication is mission-critical for our organizations to thrive.
Make a 5-minute calendar appointment each week to send out a feedback request regarding the mental questions you’re stewing on.
It may take a while for your team to embrace a culture of feedback, but the best way to get the ball rolling is to lead by example.
2. Create a goal for yourself with practical action steps
One of the biggest reasons we fall into negative self-talk is that we become overwhelmed looking at the big goal and fail to break it down into the bite-sized steps that make it happen.
Yes, hitting quota looks like a huge mountain to climb on day 1 of the quarter. So break it down using Leadr Goals.
Goal: Meet with all 90 of my customers
Action Item: Meet with customers A, B, and C by May 2.
Action Item: Meet with customers X, Y, and Z by May 10
And so on. Giving yourself a written gameplan allows you to keep your focus and energy on just the current priority, knowing hitting each daily and weekly goal will get you to the finish line.
Feels much less scary now, right?
3. Add a recurring agenda item to your 1:1 meetings
Double down on feedback and clarity by making space for them in every 1:1 meeting.
A great way to overcome negative self-talk is to understand where others see your strengths and gaps.
In your 1:1 meetings, try adding questions to scope out the things you should be celebrating and working on. Questions like:
Where do you see my unique strengths adding value to the team?
What’s something I could have improved on in the past week?
What are my top 3 skills? My bottom 3?
If you had to change one thing about my leadership, what would it be?
What do I currently do that I should absolutely continue doing?
Once you know these answers, you can clear up brain space to focus on improving in the right areas.
On the other hand, if your inner critic spends a lot of time feeling incompetent or overwhelmed, use your 1:1 to create clarity in your role. Questions like:
Here are the top 5 priorities I have this week. Does this align with what you’re thinking?
I’m struggling with getting started on X project. Here’s why. Could you coach me into some first steps?
X goal feels too aggressive with my current workload. Could you help me prioritize?
What does winning look like in my role day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month?
Proactive communication with your team is the best way to squash fearful thoughts and focus on the most important things.
4. Add helpful tips to your profile card
As you’re learning what workstyle best suits you, add tips to your Leadr profile card so your team knows your stressors, strengths, and areas for growth.
Calling out these preferences and tendencies up front saves you from miscommunication, crossed wires, and conflict down the line.
Data shows that the average person has 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day. Ninety-five percent are repeated thoughts, and 80 percent of those are negative.
Rather than ignoring those thoughts or letting them control your day, take back control one step at a time, and use Leadr to power your actions.