Pressing The Reset Button

You may or may not have noticed, it’s been a couple of weeks since the last Coffee & Notes blog. I had been on a weekly roll for some time so it felt strange to break the chain. Some of you will know that I caught covid. Although I’ve had all of my jabs and contracted covid 6 months ago, this time was different. I was completely wiped out with fatigue and covid brain for over two weeks. I even missed my big 20km swim down the Menai Straits. If you are currently struggling with covid I’m sending you a speedy recovery. The good news is that my energy and brain have been reunited 🎉

That’s not what I want to talk about in this week’s blog though.

I recently agreed to facilitate (for free) an online workshop for EWOC8 (Empowering Women in Organic Chemistry) Conference.​ It was an opportunity for me to workshop for a large number of participants > 100 and try out some new material including the Career Pivot’s Compass™ methodology.​ I had prepared a 75-minute workshop but 30 minutes before the end the host announced that the next session started in 15 minutes so I had to think on my feet (luckily it is one of my natural talents) and find a way to get to the end without rushing or flicking through 10 slides at a time. It’s definitely an artform 😉

Over two thirds of the participants in attendance signed up for my free Pocket-Sized Guide to ‘What’s Next?’ which I was more than happy with.  You can get your free copy here. This week the feedback landed in my inbox. It was a mixed bag of what can only be described as marmite.

“It didn’t feel super genuine.”

“Wonderful! Well-prepared presentation. Speaker was insightful, genuine, honest and engaging. She did a wonderful job.”

“In virtual conferences it is nice to have break out rooms to help keep audience engaged.”

“This workshop was fantastic! An incredible speaker and I love how she got everyone involved and participating even in a virtual forum. Very effective strategies that I will definitely use and it was nice to hear about some of the psychology that I can pick out in my own behaviour.”

You get the point!

I usually follow the A4 feedback guidelines outlined in my blog post Powerful Mistakes. However, in this instance I could feel myself more triggered than usual and it was because I was doing the workshop for free. When I am being generous with my time and energy, I had an unfair expectation I would only be thanked for my efforts so the feedback knocked me off my feet for a moment.

​​However, when I took a break and came back to the feedback, I could appreciate it for the gift that it was. The workshop material was super specific to the people I want to work with so it was not going to be a workshop for everyone. I knew that. One really helpful piece of information was that the examples and stories I used were only relevant to working mums and I could include more of a diverse range of examples. There is always a gift in feedback if we can move beyond our emotional responses.

When was the last time you received feedback? How did you respond?
Keep Opening Up,


PS I’ve been answering audience questions in the latest episodes of my podcast. Hit reply if you have a question you would like to ask me. I will record you an anonymous podcast response (removing any names/places that could identify you).

PPS The latest inspiring stories episode of the Women in STEM Career & Confidence podcast has landed. My guest Jennifer Colvin is Learning Undefeated’s Chief Innovation Officer. It is their mission to make STEM accessible and equitable for all through mobile labs. I got to put forward my ideas for the ultimate next generation mobile lab and the benefits of a scientific mindset. Listen on your favourite platform 🎧 iTunes 🎧 Spotify 🎧 Other Platforms