After the Webinar: Coach or Critic? Q&A with Wendy Hummell

Webinar presenter Wendy Hummell answered a number of your questions after her presentation, Coach or Critic: Implementing Strategies to Overcome Negativity Bias and Limiting Beliefs. Here are just a few of her responses.


Audience Question: There was a book you mentioned a few slides ago, not the Atomic Habits book. But before that, do you remember what that book title was that you were talking about?

Wendy Hummell: I talked about a few but I’ll tell you why. I did forget to mention that I have a resource page. I have a limiting beliefs worksheet and I have a meditation. So, if anybody wants that they can e-mail me. But I’ll just try to remember. I mentioned that there were several books written by Kristin Neff on self-compassion. I probably did mention a third one, but I can’t think of what it is right now. Like I said, I have a list. The Gap and the Gain was probably what they were talking about, Dr. Benjamin Harty and Dan Sullivan wrote that book.


Audience Question: You talked about VUCA. How do we build our tolerance or ability to deal with such volatility that we’re all dealing with these days? 

Wendy Hummell: That’s a really good question. So, one of the things, and some of the research that I’ve done in particular with like VUCA, as it relates to policing, since that’s my background. Is that with volatility, it’s really important to have, with whatever you’re working on or working with, is to have some sort of a shared vision and partnerships and collaboration. So that could mean internally with your agency, and that could also be with the community or other agencies.


Audience Question: Many of these attributes that you discussed during today’s webinar could be also attributed to ADHD. Can you describe the difference between self-sabotage and traits associated with ADHD? 

Wendy Hummell: Well, I know I am not a mental health professional. And so, I can speak very like, briefly to ADHD, just because I’ve got some people in my family to have it. I’m not a specialist in ADHD. I’m not a therapist. So, I don’t know that I can really answer that adequately.


Audience Question: What is the difference between self-compassion and self-care? 

Wendy Hummell: Well, that’s a really good question, I wonder who asked that? You don’t have to tell me. But that is a really good question, because we have all these terms, of self this and self that, and it can get a little bit confusing. So self-compassion, again, is those three components I talked about that constitute self-compassion. So, kindness, mindfulness, and basically connection to others, those are the three important components of self-compassion. When it comes to self-care, that is a lot more broad. That’s just really making an effort to take care of yourself, whatever that looks like. So that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be the same thing for me as it is for Brenda or it is for Kim where it is for Chris or it is for Diane. It’s going to be different things that fill your cup. That could mean going outside for a walk in nature, or it could be spending time with family. Moving your body, doing something that you love, a hobby, things, that just basically bring you joy.


Audience Question: How do you figure out what your natural circadian rhythm is? 

Wendy Hummell: So, circadian rhythm science is there’s a lot that goes into that. That’s something that we talk a lot about in the coaching program that I run. I think a lot of us are so dysregulated because we don’t live according to the cycles of nature. So that’s what that’s really what the circadian rhythm is. So, if you think about how our ancestors lived. I know we’re at a different time. But essentially, just like I said earlier, you’re eating and you’re sleeping and you’re moving the same as the cycles of nature and also there’s different, there are different times of the year, right? So, we have the season, so there are different shifts. And so, when we sleep, we should ideally go to bed before 10 o’clock. And I know a lot of people are going to probably think, I’m crazy for saying that, but ideally going to sleep for a certain time and waking up with the sun or before the sun. Then also the circadian rhythm involves times when we should move our body, times when we should eat. A lot of times, we eat our largest meal in the evening time. That’s what dinner is. It’s usually the biggest meal of the day, and I talk more about that in another course that I’m going to teach for you guys. But the importance of having your larger meal more in the middle of the day, like our ancestors used to do because that is when our bile production is at its peak. And so, when we are giving our bodies food that it needs, at the right times, that’s also part of the Circadian Rhythm.

Host: Ah, Okay. So, it’s not just a sleep thing, it’s also when do you eat, and when you do everything else in your day.

Wendy Hummell: Yes. A lot of those —– habits factor into that, correct.


Audience Question: How do we know when we’re being compassionate with ourselves? Or are we letting ourselves off the hook and making excuses and not striving to be our best selves?

Wendy Hummell: Yeah, that’s a really good question. That’s only something that I think an individual can really answer. Right? Because I’m not in everybody’s head. So, it’s about really being honest with yourself. And so, for instance, like, if you know that you’re really hard on yourself, typically. Try applying a little bit of kindness. If you’re not taking action and getting things done, then you might know, “Well, wait a minute. Maybe I am using this as an excuse.” And that’s another reason why you should really recruit an accountability partner, a coach, a therapist, because those people can help you identify that stuff, too.


Audience Question: Employee attempts to be realistic or manage expectations are often misinterpreted as being negative or being defeatist or just simply not being a team player. So, the employee tries to be realistic about what is doable, or can, or cannot be done, and they’re then suddenly painted as, being negative, not being enough of a team player, or helping to pitch in and get things done. How can employees best frame this pushback, and open that discussion? How can they position that so it’s not coming across as negative? 

Wendy Hummell: I’m honestly a little confused. But here’s what, I think. I’m going to try to answer this the best that I can. I think every workplace deals with the same issues for the most part, and I think, first of all, it comes down to setting expectations. If you’re talking about employees and supervisors or leaders, the expectations need to be set in open lines of communication. Because being able to have an open line of communication, and whether or not that comes across as negative or not, that can be open to interpretation. So, I think it’s really important that I hope, that I’m adequately answering this, is setting the expectations. And that’s why I think it’s really incumbent upon the person who’s the supervisor or the leader in that case. And that’s why I made sure to address that. Is that being kind of mindful that different people and being aware of other people’s emotions and how they may or may not respond and how it all starts with you and the way that you come off. Does that make sense?

Host: I think it does. But, you know, I’m going to ask Catherine if that does not answer the question or if I’ve mangled the question in some way. Catherine, please do feel free to reach out to Wendy afterward. But I think Wendy, based on what you just said, I think you’ve answered it. So, we’ll go ahead and put a pin in that one for the moment.

Wendy Hummell: And that’s absolutely right, Catherine, she can get a hold of me and maybe there’s a little bit more she can share, and we can kind of work through the answer a little bit better.


Audience Question: Which Kaizen book do you recommend? 

Wendy Hummell: So, I don’t have a book specifically on that. This is just something that I found in just ——- Maybe try Googling the term and you’ll get a lot of information.

Host: Ah, Okay. So, it wasn’t a specific book, it was a concept that can, that she can go off and learn more about, okay.

Wendy Hummell: Something in terms of like habit psychology, that is how I was talking about it, but it’s actually a term that started with the military as well.


Audience Question: Are lessons from somebody else, a fixed/gap or growth/gain concept? So, in other words, learning from other agencies, so your own agency doesn’t make the same mistakes as an example. 

Wendy Hummell: Oh, no, I wouldn’t say so at all, I think it’s brilliant and really smart to see what other people are doing and apply it to whatever that looks like for you. So, I think the more you’re seeking out what other people are doing, I wouldn’t identify that automatically as being a negative or fixed mindset. I think it’s, it’s actually what we need to do more of, is collaborate and look at what other people are doing. Because, if something is working somewhere else, why recreate the wheel?

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