Tag Archives: personaldevelopment

What’s Your Legacy?

27 Jun

Many of us have heard of the “tombstone” or “funeral” exercise.  The one where we think about what we would like to be remembered for or spoken about for “generations to come!”  For most, it’s not about the house we owned, the car we drove, or the title we held at work.  It’s more likely about what we experienced, what we taught, what we did with the circumstances we had, and how we helped people feel.   

We speak of the “generations to come” … but guess what, those generations are very short-lived.  Here’s an interesting exercise:  Start by writing down your parents’ first and last names, and a couple of points about the most critical things they did and taught you.   Then go back one generation, to your four grandparents.  Now go back to your eight great-grandparents.  Probably getting a little patchy by now.  Finally, reach as far back to your sixteen great-great-grandparents.  It’s fascinating how few of us can articulate the role that even a few in this generation played.  

So, the legacy question might be simplified to “what are you going to leave your children and grandchildren?” … so that they might pass along what you taught them, to the two generations behind them.

What are you going to leave behind? And for how many generations?  Curious to know what you think …

Anna Minto

Founder & Consultant, Transformational Change

Executive Coach & Collaborator, You Are Possible




Feedback Can Be Fun. Really.

30 Sep

The sentiment behind performance feedback is not supposed to be all about cutting you up, shining a light on a big problem, or providing all the answers to the next big promotion.  

And your response to performance feedback doesn’t just have to be about viewing others’ opinions (and their imperfections) as obstacles to get around.  Or things that are incorrect and must be proven to be so.

Very few of us eagerly await the “performance review.”  Yet people giving us feedback can be valuable partners, if (and only if) we view them as such.  That’s a big “if.”

We all have what psychologists call cognitive dissonance – when we believe we’re doing great, yet the data shows we could do better.  A “blind spot,” particularly when multiple facts sourced from multiple opinions have a common denominator (you!).  It’s part of the “Johari House” – a matrix representing whether feedback is known or unknown, and whether that’s known by yourself or by others:

  • Open (everyone sees it)
  • Blind (others see it, but you don’t see it)
  • Façade (you see it, but others don’t)
  • Unknown (no one sees it)

Take a moment to reflect on your Johari House based on your feedback.  Pay close attention to both the Blind spots, and the hidden Façades.  This can actually be fun!  Really.  It’s interesting because it’s about ourselves.  And as obvious as it sounds, it’s ok to say “I didn’t know that.”  And not view something as a “weakness” or an untruth but view it as an opportunity to consider exploring (and not by simply concluding “it must be wrong!”).

Many of us aim for outstanding personal and professional goals (aspirational!) … but we’re not perfect human beings, and we shouldn’t expect to be so. 

  • Perfectionism is not good for you. There’s plenty of research tying perfectionist tendencies to depression, anxiety, eating disorders and even suicide.
  • Perfectionism impedes growth as it makes us afraid to fail.
  • Personal innovation requires experimentation.  Experiments by definition include failures, because if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment.
  • Choose the areas to focus on and work on.  View them as an experiment.
  • Be honest with yourself, be open to ideas, and have fun!

Oh, and don’t forget, that if you are giving someone performance feedback, you cannot support and help others grow if you can’t first accept that you too are imperfect and vulnerable.  

Curious to know what you think …

Anna Minto

Founder & CEO, Transformational Change