How do you respond to gossip?

Marcella Bremer Positive Power Leave a Comment

How do you feel when someone gossips or complains about someone else? It depends, of course. It can be great to agree because it creates a feeling of bonding. “The two of us agree and it’s us against that person or that issue”. It can be such a relief to vent. But it may not be what you’d like to …

How to train your listening skills?

Marcella Bremer Positive Power 2 Comments

The counterpart of Inquiry is Listening. As we are often in telling mode and we value doing over being, listening may not come naturally. I assume that we could all use the exercise below and repeat it from time to time. I myself have to slow down, focus my attention and practice patience. I’m always tempted to jump in and …

What do you ask to influence others?

Marcella Bremer Positive Power Leave a Comment

In our culture of telling, to ask can be judged as ignorance while leaders are supposed to know what to do. Telling is expected and respected. And it feels so good to give advice, thinking we have solved someone else’s problem! But wise leaders use questions to engage people and encourage them to take ownership. Looking at the lack of …

The art of asking

Marcella Bremer Positive Power Leave a Comment

Humble Inquiry is the art of asking questions to which you do not already know the answer. It is building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person, says Edgar Schein in his book Humble Inquiry. Our culture is biased toward telling. When in telling mode, we hope to educate, impress, or to entertain. Western, egalitarian and …

Silence, Violence or Flow?

Marcella Bremer Positive Power Leave a Comment

What kind of interactions are taking place around you? A helpful discernment is whether there is silence, violence, or a natural flow in a conversation – as described in Patterson’s a.o. book Crucial Conversations. In crucial conversations there is a lot at stake and we often hold things inside by going silent until we can take it no longer—and then …

Are you congruent?

Marcella Bremer Positive Power 2 Comments

In every interaction there are three levels that influence its effect and meaning: What – the content; the words I say How – the process; how I say it (nonverbal communication) Why – the intention; the meaning, what I am trying to accomplish with this interaction. We tend to focus on What people say and are less aware of the …

Personal Positive Power from me to YOU

Marcella Bremer Positive Power Leave a Comment

Welcome back, positive people! I hope your summer was energizing! Are you ready to continue your path to being a positive agent and contributing to positive change, regardless of your position? If you’ve been following this book that I blog online, you’ve done your personal preparation and you’re ready, willing and able to be a positive agent. If you just …

Do others still bother you?

Marcella Bremer Positive Power 1 Comment

You, too, are probably mistreated in one way or another. You might be overlooked, blamed, discriminated against, criticized in one context or another. But you still have the choice to see the other as a whole person. That is what great people did: they did not become bitter by their unjust treatment and saw others only as demons or caricatures. …

Do you engage in drama?

Marcella Bremer Positive Power 2 Comments

A well-known example of Ego-interaction is the “drama triangle”, described by psychologist Stephen Karpman. One of your self-justifying narratives could be the prosecutor, the victim, or the rescuer. The Victim’s stance is “Poor me!” He feels oppressed, helpless, hopeless, ashamed, and can’t make decisions, solve problems, etc. The Victim always finds a Persecutor and a Rescuer – who both perpetuate …

How do I relate to others?

Marcella Bremer Positive Power Leave a Comment

How do you relate to others? When you look at situations the blind spot is yourself. As you are the source of attention, looking outward, it is not easy to “turn back the camera” and see yourself as part of the situation. Here lies an explanation for self-deception. You may conclude: the others are the problem, not you. Self-deception is …

What does your body say?

Marcella Bremer Positive Power Leave a Comment

If you suspect that you might need to clean up some emotional issues before you can be an authentic person at work – Steve Sisgold is your man. In his practical book What is your body telling you? he shares many exercises to tap into the wisdom of your body and your inner knowing. We cannot embody positivity if we …

How is your energy?

Marcella Bremer Positive Power Leave a Comment

In The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwarz write that managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance. To be engaged, we must be energized physically, emotionally connected, mentally focused and spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our self-interest. For that to happen we also need rest and recovery – something that is less valued …