“I failed at self-awareness (at first) so you don’t have to”

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4 resources to help you improve your self-awareness with Talkit, based on the experience of one of Yerbo’s own collaborators.

Hi there! My name is Eugenia, I’m the Wordsmith at Yerbo and I’m excited to share with you what I’ve been getting out of Talkit after using it over time, and even what mistakes I made so you can steer clear of those and make the best out of the experience.

1. Use the highlights to vent

My advice is to not mince your words when using the daily highlight feature of Talkit. I absolutely love words and can’t get enough of them, but for some reason, just as the old saying goes, the shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot, and I was quite stingy with my own writing. 

The first couple of weeks of using Talkit I kept jotting down super short phrases in my highlights, no more than 5 or 6 words. I talked to one of my coworkers and realized that they were fully taking the opportunity to use it as a mini journal and really connect their emotions with the events of the day: “I felt angry because I felt dismissed at today’s meeting and couldn’t get my point across“. At the end of the week I was getting the reports that showed my emotions and still made use of them, but as I started to be a lot more specific with my highlights, I could go back two or three weeks and know exactly why I felt a certain way on a specific day. 

2. The are no “work emotions” and “life emotions”

Log everything you’re feeling, even if it has nothing to do with work. Again, little miss words holding back on her own words and feelings. I felt that if something was going on in my life, it didn’t belong in the workplace. And that’s true to some extent. But we’re talking feelings here, understanding what and when we experience our emotions. So, when I received my reports, it mostly only showed my positive emotions or very few negative ones, because I happened to be performing well at work and that made me proud. But it was strange to see a happy person reflected on the page of the report when I knew I wasn’t feeling my best in other aspects. So, I started to put down my negative emotions as well, and made a little note in my highlights that read “my negative emotions today have nothing to do with work“. When they did, they did, and I also made sure I wrote that down with things like “I was distracted and made a mistake that I wouldn’t have made otherwise and that made me angry” or something of the sort. Sometimes we’re asked to leave our emotions at the door, but that can’t always be the case. And if you find yourself in a place where people ask you to do that, maybe you’re standing on the wrong side of the door of that particular company and can start to plan your exit strategy.

3. Don’t hold back

Anything you write in Talkit will be available for your eyes only, unless you see fit to share it with someone else. And even so, you could just pick and choose what to share for example in a 1:1 meeting with your leader. Completely up to you. Up until a point I kept this information to myself, but since I was going through some things in my personal life that were affecting how I was performing at work, I decided to screenshot the graph of a particularly bad week and show it to my manager at our weekly meeting. I started off by saying “this may explain a lot“, and then we talked about how I could navigate work while still going through my personal issues, in a way that we could all benefit from. I was able to change my schedule up a bit so I would have free slots to take care of things that needed my attention, instead of having my mind split in many different directions.

4. Spot the patterns

Your report can show you ongoing situations that repeat over time. Sure, I’ll always have a spike of positive emotions on Friday because I was that much closer to the weekend, and to be able to spend all Saturday curled up with my dogs and binge watch some TV. It wasn’t until I went back a couple of weeks of my reports that I noticed a spike in my negative emotions around Wednesdays and realized that I had a recurring hands-on meeting that I didn-t particularly enjoy. I took that as an opportunity to see what could be changed about that situation: could I just skip the meeting altogether? Did the contents of the meeting make me angry, anxious, worried? Was it a personal issue with a participant? And started to change my attitude towards that meeting and the hours leading up to it. I didn’t solve all my problems, but I managed to curb the negative curve (see what I did there? Told you, words!) on that particular trend.

Nobody else can run your marathon for you

At the end of the day, it will be up to you what you make of Talkit and the report, but if experience serves in any way, I can confidently say that having a consistent attitude towards the tool has led me to understand my current state, my patterns, my overall emotions. Furthermore, it led me to consciously act to change some things that if untouched, could still be bothering me. I have by no means finished the marathon, but I’m glad I get to train for it every day.

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