Welcome to our #MTtalk review of the year: the topics, favorite tweets and ideas that really caught our eye.
Every two weeks, #MTtalk – now heading past its 150th edition – takes Mind Tools live with our Twitter chat, tackling the issues of work, wellness and how to reach your potential in a world that is not getting any easier to traverse!
Hosted by our global coaching team, each hour-long chat poses 10 questions to our online community, to help find solutions that work in the real world. One of the team then curates the best answers alongside their personal reflections, in a follow-up blog.
These, then, are some of our favorite themes and tweets from this year’s MTtalks…
Boundaries: Your New Best Friend
Guilt, it turns out, is the enemy when it comes to maintaining your boundaries, a subject we explored in March.
But Community and Coaching Manager, Yolande Conradie, has got past that. She said in her #MTtalk blog, “In recent years, I’ve become good at managing people who don’t respect my boundaries – including family.
“I even taught my husband that a closed office door means, ‘Do not enter unless the house is burning down or you’re having a heart attack and can’t phone the ambulance yourself!'”
So our Twitter chat that week centered around the importance of having and maintaining boundaries…
Q. When people maintain strong boundaries for themselves, what’s the effect on you and others? Ditto weak boundaries?
@SustainedLeader Those with weak or no boundaries are doormats and people will take advantage. Rigid boundaries without reason make people difficult to work with. Rigid boundaries bolstered by principles allow healthy discussion and a clear playing field.
Q. What might happen if you start asserting your boundaries? How might others react?
@TheToniaKallon Those who benefit from your lack of boundaries will try to make you feel guilty for asserting yourself. Those who fully respect you will adjust in time.
Language That Divides
Race, gender, class, and the stigmatization of mental illness are all targets of language that divides and attempts to conquer.
It’s a subject Yolande tackled in her blog in May. She concluded, “Some people will justify an offensive or hurtful comment by adding, ‘I’m just joking.’ Such language is designed to make the person on the receiving end feel like they’re the one in the wrong, and shouldn’t take things ‘too seriously.’
“Will it not be to our benefit across the whole world to use language as a tool to unite people, to build peaceful nations, and to foster co-operation?”
We asked our online community for their experiences of, and lessons learned from, divisive language.
Q. Words have the power to exclude. How?
@SizweMoyo Words can change a person’s position in social spaces – what we think a person can do and how well we think they can do it. For a long time, the use of certain words meant that those branded with certain words [had] a smaller chance of enjoying life to the fullest.
Q. Language is woven into cultures and societies. How do we change the use of divisive language?
@JKatzaman Language that is culturally embedded is tough, because it’s what children learn from parents and playmates. Bess Truman was asked why (U.S. President) Harry said “manure.” She replied, “You don’t know how many years it took us to get him to say that.”
You Are What You Consume!
What we eat, think, read, watch, and listen to, and who we spend time with, are all things that we “consume.”
And in July, Yolande highlighted the need to consume with caution, after falling victim herself to doomscrolling – chasing one grim headline after another.
She admitted, “During the height of pandemic lockdown, I became fixated with the news. I felt as if I had to know, hour by hour, what the COVID statistics looked like.”
In our #MTtalk Twitter chat on the subject, we talked about why it’s important to be mindful of our consumption.
Q. Why do we talk about content “consumption” – and what are the parallels with our food and drink?
@chase_csc If we eat bad foods, we will get sick. It’s similar to consuming content: if we consume negative content, it will also affect our mindset.
Q. How did you first become aware that you need to be mindful of what you consume?
@Dwyka_Consult I heard a voice in my head that sounded like someone whom I didn’t want to sound like – and it was because I didn’t consume a diverse range of material. If I wanted to be different, I would have to consume differently!
How to Do What You Know You Need to Do
We’re talking To-Do Lists, here. And what makes it worse is, you know how to do it – but you just can’t bring yourself to do it!
Our Twitter community weighed in with some top tips in that week’s MTtalk.
Q. What is the first step you take to get started?
@MicheleDD_MT I create my goal. I need the end point to help me see the path forward. I make the goal as vivid as possible to motivate me.
Q. What can you do to break the pattern of unproductive/unhelpful behavior?
@ColfaxInsurance Focus on what you can accomplish now, no matter how small. As an example – have to start getting out of bed at 6am, but keep hitting snooze? Move the alarm so you physically have to get out of bed to shut it off.
Joining the Club and downloading the Mind Tools Life Plan workbook is another great way to help yourself to set meaningful goals and to take action to successfully achieve them!
Hybrid Working: Your Fears and Solutions
It’s a given that the world of work will never return to its pre-pandemic self. In its place has rushed hybrid working – a combination of online and in the workplace.
In September, Mind Tools coach Sarah Harvey looked ahead at the transition. She said, “Managing a hybrid team requires an element of over-communication. We need to create the time and space for better quality conversations to take place.
“This will help to develop that deeper sense of human connection in a hybrid world. And this needs persistence.”
In our MTtalk, we found out how our online community were handling and reacting to the changes.
Q. How do you remain motivated and focused when you’re virtual compared with face-to-face?
@MindfulLifeWork Real motivation comes from connecting our personal meaning to our work’s meaning. If that connection is solid, motivation is overflowing. Staying organized also helps!
Q. How is hybrid working affecting the quality of your workplace relationships?
@TheTomGReid As a strong introvert, most workplace relationships were a bothersome distraction to me. I’ve been called anti-social, and perhaps I am a bit. But I’m AT work TO work, not to socialize.
How Do You Run a Business?
Of course, you could decide you’re through working for other people and decide to go it alone.
Yolande’s grandfather did, and did it well, until he took pity on an old friend who ended up running off with every cent he had.
In November, she recalled, “My grandpa was a wealthy man. He owned a successful transport business. His work ethic was beyond reproach. However, his inability to say ‘no’ would eventually lead to his downfall.”
We asked our online community for their tips for budding entrepreneurs.
Q. “What advice would you offer to someone thinking of starting their own business?”
@TheTomGReid Think twice. Maybe three times.
@Dwyka_Consult Be wise, ask for help, and don’t let anyone pressure you into decisions that your gut isn’t comfortable with.
#MTtalk in 2022
We hope you enjoyed our highlights from the year. You can find all 20+ Twitter hour blogs from across 2021 by searching the Mind Tool site for #MTtalk.
Our first #MTtalk of the new year is on Friday, January 14 and is entitled, “CTRL ALT DEL – Rebooting for 2022!” Please join us! More details in our #MTtalk blog on January 11.
Your Favorite Tweets
What topics caught your eye in 2021? Have you got any favorite tweets of the year, whether from MTtalks or elsewhere? Let us know in the comments, below.