How do you respond to gossip?

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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 …

Possibility-oriented questions

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In the last post, we have seen that our behavior follows our questions. For instance, I could complain about the lack of response to my emails. I could ask limiting questions that focus on finding the culprit. Why do they not even have the courtesy to reply? Who ignores my emails? These questions will make me feel annoyed and not …

The art of asking

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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?

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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 …

Do others still bother you?

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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?

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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?

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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 …

Do you recognize these five fears?

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Brené Brown’s research showed that we have a shame-prone culture. Shame is the fear of not being worthy of belonging. Many suffer from shame – the fear of not being good enough. Shame also leads to blaming others as a way out of feeling this awful emotion. The remedy is to become shame-resilient and especially leaders should “dare greatly” and …

What’s your emotion ratio?

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How do you feel? But how you feel is crucial to developing a positive culture. You cannot fake it till you make it – as the saying goes. People have a radar for authenticity and if you don’t regularly experience positive emotions – you cannot “be the change” and embody positive leadership. What’s your emotion ratio? Barbara Frederickson’s research found …

What is your Purpose?

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You might have an idea of your big Why, your drive or purpose. What is the legacy you would like to leave? What is your contribution that you love to give, your strengths, values, and criteria? So, what is your purpose? Next, write down your vision and mission statement: an intention of who you want to be and how you …

What do you love to do?

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A colleague of mine once took a taxi from the airport. The taxi driver asked him what he did. He said he was a consultant who helped organizations become better at change and improve their performance. “That’s not what you do,” the driver disagreed. “What you do is what makes you happy. That’s your gift to the world regardless of …

How to change beliefs?

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Do you want to adopt the beliefs and behaviors of the positive mindset? I hope you do. This next part (about 14 blog posts) will be about the “inner work” you can do to develop your personal potential: change beliefs, know yourself better, find your purpose, transcend your fears and what is holding you back, and so on. If we …