Raising Elite Competitors

How Mindfulness Can Make Your Athlete Perform Better w/ Behavior Specialist Nellie Springston

October 24, 2023 Coach Bre Season 2 Episode 164
Raising Elite Competitors
How Mindfulness Can Make Your Athlete Perform Better w/ Behavior Specialist Nellie Springston
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered what sets elite athletes apart from the rest? Is it superior physical abilities, rigorous training routines, or something more? In today’s podcast episode, we’re diving into the world of mindfulness and its incredible impact on an athlete’s performance.

In this podcast episode, we’ll cover:

  • The potential of mindfulness in sports and how it can unlock an athlete’s performance.
  • An introduction to Nellie Springston, a multifaceted expert in behavior specialist and founder of Calma.
  • The birth of Calma and its journey from behavior interventionist to a program for creating calm classrooms.
  • The five core modules of Calma for teaching mindfulness and self-regulation.
  • Real-life success stories of schools implementing Calma and winning awards.
  • Managing anxiety in sports through grounding and reframing techniques.
  • Mindfulness, empathy, and being present in high-pressure moments for athletes.
  • Nonviolent communication (NVC) as a structured approach to conflict resolution.
  • Team conflict resolution using Restorative Circles.
  • If you’re interested in learning more about the power of mindfulness and its practical applications, be sure to check out the full podcast episode. Let mindfulness be your secret weapon for success!

Come hang out with Nellie on social @‌calma.kids and learn more about working with her at:

🌐 calmakids.org

🌐 calmacoach.com

🌐 calmacat.com

📧 nelliespringston@gmail.com 

Episode Highlights: 

[00:00] Mindfulness for athletes with a mental performance coach and school counselor. An introduction to Natalie Nellie Springston, founder of Calm and Loving Minds Achieve, a school program that teaches mindfulness to empower children and teens to overcome anxiety and thrive.

[03:13] Creating a program to help students regulate their emotions and improve learning. Nellie shares her passion for helping educators create calm classrooms through an online training program and children’s book.

[08:10] Mental training for athletes using mindfulness and gratitude. Nellie discusses the concept of neuroplasticity and how it relates to mindfulness practice, emphasizing the importance of focusing on the present moment and building the brain’s ability to be present. She also highlights the social element of the program, including gratitude and empathy, and how these practices can serve as a counter to the fight flight or freeze response in the brain.

[10:46] Using mindfulness in schools to improve focus and well-being.

[16:56] Managing anxiety in sports using grounding and reframing techniques. Nellie discusses using grounding and breathing meditation to separate from anxious thoughts and question their validity, as taught by Byron Katie.

[19:39] Mindfulness, empathy, and being present in the moment. Nellie discusses the importance of being present in the moment to perform at one’s best, using breathing techniques and grounding exercises to manage anxiety.

[25:22] Nonviolent communication and conflict resolution. Nellie discusses the importance of nonviolent communication (NVC) in resolving conflicts, emphasizing the structure of observation, feeling, need, and request.

[28:06] Team conflict resolution using restorative circles. Nellie shares her expertise on mindfulness and grounding techniques for children in high-charged conversations.

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Helpful Links:

Welcome back to the raising elite competitors podcast. I'm coach Bree, a mental performance coach for girl athletes. And I am thrilled that you are here now, whether you are a sports mom who is just getting going on this journey with your athlete, or maybe you are the team mom, you got lots of seasons under your belt. You are in the right place. We help, you know how to strengthen your athlete. Daughter's confidence and mental game. And today's episode is when I'm really excited about I'm going to be introducing Nellie Springsteen in a second, and she is pretty amazing. She is the founder of coma. She's also a school counselor, a behavior specialist, and we're talking all about mindfulness and how mindfulness benefits athletes, and really how this can be a secret tool to having them play better. Enjoy their sport more and really be able to play to their potential. So we're going to get into all of that. And before I do, I want to give a shout out to a mom in our community. Her name is Melissa. She recently posted in our group, this, she said my daughter has been struggling with her next level. Gymnastic skills. Since late August. We are one day into working on the elite mental game. But I've already seen progress. She's realized she isn't the only one that experiences nerves, pressure perfectionism it's changed her entire thought process. I'm so excited to watch her continue to believe in herself. I have goosebumps right now, reading that because literally one day and to the elite mental game, which is our signature mental training program for athletes and also for their parents to know how to support them. And this is the type of work that is possible and it's happening for Melissa's athlete. And I know countless athletes, especially gymnast who struggle getting to that next level, or, you know, they have the skills there, but. It's their confidence that's lacking or they're getting their own head or they just can't get over this mental block. All of these things that are really skills that can be taught. So I am so happy for you, Melissa. So happy for your daughter. Keep going. Can't wait to hear. All the other progress that happens within the elite mental game. All right. Let's get into today's episode. Like I said, I had the pleasure of interviewing Natalie Springs in. She is the founder of coma. Calm and loving minds achieve, which is a school program that helps ensure teachers can create calm classrooms. She is also a school counselor and practice behavior specialists who use mindfulness to empower children and teens to overcome anxiety and thrive. So Natalie is in it, right? She is not only. The founder of this amazing program that is in school districts right now, but she is also a school counselor. She's a behavior specialist who is working directly with adolescents. On using mindfulness to combat a very common thing that most teens face, which is anxiety. And so we get into that specifically anxiety, but also just what mindfulness is and how this can be your athlete's secret weapon. To helping them play in the present moment enjoy their sport more and navigate the normal parts of being an athlete so i am so excited for you to listen to what nellie has to say so go ahead and enjoy i hope you love this episode as much as i love to chatting with nelly

Breanne Webinar:

All right. Welcome Nellie to the Raising Elite Competitors

Nellie:

podcast. Thanks for having me.

Breanne Webinar:

Super excited that you're here. We were just chatting about how you wear a lot of hats. I mean, they're all very connected and you know they support each other, but can you talk about who you are and

Nellie:

what you do? Sure. I'm the founder of Calm and Loving Minds Achieve, and that is an online program that helps Educators create calm classrooms. So there's a 10 video training series for them to watch where they learn just basically like what mindfulness is, how it can be beneficial to their students academically, socially, mentally, and emotionally. And then once the educator is trained in Calma, then they can employ the program in their classroom using the video lessons. So, what those are there's five different lessons, and I teach kids, like, why meditation is important to their brain, or to their relationships, or to learning in the classroom. You know, I always tell kids, like, if we don't control our brain, it controls us. So, we can build some skills to be able to control, like, where our thoughts are in the classroom, if our thoughts are making us angry, or have anxiety in the classroom and just be able to look at those with a little more space and manage those in the classroom. So I always say like we need to calm our mind in order to grow our brain. So if we have anxious thoughts or distracted thoughts taking over, we can you know, bring our thoughts into the present moment or we can manage those anxious or angry thoughts in the moment so that we're not having to like stop and teachers are having to stop and manage behaviors throughout the day. So, that's Calma and along with Calma, I have a little kid's book called Pause and Breathe, which helps kids Learn how to pause and breathe in the classroom to manage again, like their emotions and their behaviors. In addition to that, I see kids a couple of days a week, private practice. I did that. I've done that for a couple of years before I took on a full time. School counseling job and it does sound like a lot, but you know, my school counseling job is just while my kids are at school and I see clients a couple days a week after school and then Calma is kind of, it's all online. So it's rolling on its own. I do have to do. Some things here and there, but again, the training video series is all online. All the lessons are online. It's taken me a long time to build it, but now that it's built, it's pretty much manages itself, which is great.

Breanne Webinar:

Wow. That's great. So Kalma is in some school districts right now is what you were telling me, which is amazing. And can you take me back even a little further, just I'm curious why you created Calma? What was the,

Nellie:

I used to work as a behavior interventionist at an inner city charter school in San Antonio, Texas. We recruited kids from inner city schools and our see kids who had experienced a lot of trauma and that would come out in their behaviors. They would. Flip over desk and like hide under tables and run out of the school building. I mean, it was wild. And then afterward they would always feel remorseful, you know, and I would work with these kids on going and we knew that like, we did not want them to behave this way, but they had no way to control that amygdala, the fight, flight or freeze response in their brain. Once it started to activate, so I was like, we have got to teach kids how to regulate themselves in the classroom before we expect them to, and the more I read about it, like this self regulation is an actual skill, like it is a skill, just like math, just like learning a skill in sports, like if you don't have that skill and a lot of kids who grow up in poverty or have experienced trauma, don't have that skill of self regulation because they're always on in that fight, fight or freeze mode. Or they are more often. So when you get to escalate, they don't have an ability to be able to calm themselves down. So I just began having, I would say all 600 kids once a week. And I would just say like, okay, we're going to come in and sit in a circle and I want you to sit down and we're going to practice two or three minutes of breathing. And it just created. This calm in my classroom that like they began to crave like their whole day was like fast pace and go go go and chaotic and then they would just come in and breathe and like they would carry that through like the rest of their time at least with me. I don't know about the rest of their day, but with me and I just it all just started to come together where I was like, just the five modules were just so clear like the five different things we needed to teach. So, do you mind if I share what those are? No, I love you too. Yeah. So the first is a body scan for metacognition or like thinking about thinking. So when our thoughts drift to the past or the future, we're not fully in the present moment absorbing the information that's being taught in the classroom. So the quicker we can notice when our thoughts have drifted and bring them back to the present moment, the better for our learning. And I guide them through a body scan meditation to bring their mind to be where their body is. The second is self regulation, so mindful breathing in order to calm that amygdala whenever we feel angry or anxious thoughts or, you know, any heightened emotion. The next is the concept of neuroplasticity, what we feed the brain grows in the brain. So if we feed it distraction and, you know, social media and constant stimulation, that's our brain's going to become wired to be distracted and to want that high amount of stimulation. But if we can practice just focusing on the present moment, which you know, I know you teach that practice focusing on the present moment and we do that through a mindful listening activity in that meditation, then we're building our brain's ability to be present in the moment. And then the last two are kind of like the social element of the program. So it's gratitude. So gratitude for opportunity. And others, but we also talked about how having an actual gratitude, a consistent gratitude practice can serve as a counter to the fight, flight, or freeze response, or the stress response in the brain. Cause again, what we feed the brain grows so we can rewire the brain to be like more optimistic and more what you were saying something earlier to like how you can train the brain to like, have a goal and like, see yourself. Achieve that goal. So kind of the same, like instead of constantly noticing the negative or the stressful things in our environment, when we practice gratitude, we can notice the positive or the good things in our environment. And then the fifth is empathy. And it's just being able to pause and take this perspective of another person, which is always good for relationships.

Breanne Webinar:

Yeah. Yeah. Such amazing things that you're teaching. And yeah, of course there are so many applications to sports and what you're saying we teach inside the elite mental game, which is our program for athletes and also for parents of athletes. And so much science based, you know, like we talk about same thing when athletes are in that spiral and they're in that fight or flight after they make a mistake and, you know they're not able to regulate themselves and then more mistakes happen and more and more, you know Yeah, having like tools to be able to pause to breathe. I mean, it's so simple, but breathe and ground and then choose to respond instead of kind of getting swept up by it. So

Nellie:

yeah, swept up by that thought that might not even be true, but that's going to affect your emotions and then your outward behavior.

Breanne Webinar:

Yeah, so cool. So love that. And now you're in school. So Calma is up and going. I'm curious. I mean, you've had experience implementing all of that yourself. I mean, it's very similar to me. Like I did this with my team, mindfulness, my team, and then put the program online. Now we have thousands of athletes going through and I get to kind of hear how it's working at that on that scale. So what are you hearing from the districts have implemented

Nellie:

it? Actually one school that I guess I would be say I'm most proud of is the principal at the school, it's located in Louisville at St. Aloysius Catholic school in Louisville. They won the blue ribbon award, which is like a national education award for your school. So you meet all these academic criteria. And then the principal can apply for the principal award and they got it like in 2014, then they implemented KALMA and they said it's just like, allow them to focus on the whole child. So their social emotional needs, their You know the fact that kids are coming in way more distracted and have way more anxiety than we've ever seen before and this is just like it speaks to all of that and it's like this is what's happening in today's society. Let's manage this a little bit in the classroom so kids are not coming in equipped to manage their anxiety or to manage the distractedness of all these devices and all this stuff is feeding them so it speaks to that and it allows them in just like five or 10 minutes of teaching the lesson. To kind of address it and then to give them a little tool, like you said, just a little tool to be able to manage that a little better in the classroom. So after rolling out Calma, they won the blue ribbon award again in 2019. So she applied for the principal award and won the national principal award from the U. S. department of education and credited Kalma, which was so cool. Like it just, you know, we had the academics. Yeah, and we did proven that because we won the blue ribbon award in 2014. We want it again. But this time I think she said, what set them apart was the focus on the whole child, that they're not just focused on academics. They're focused on all the other things that kids have to deal with and are bringing into the classroom, like in their minds that are preventing them from like. Being able to fully absorb the information, which is what kids should be doing in the classroom. But when our minds are just so distracted or just like those anxious thoughts just won't, we have no tools to manage them, then it's really hard to learn in the classroom. Wow. That's incredible. That's, that's one school. It's in, you know, preschool in Austin and it's fun to see little kids in preschool, just like be able to begin to manage and have language like manage their own emotions. And then it's in several other school, a lot of more Catholic schools in Louisville as well. So the schools have used it for years now and love it and just again like once you've taught those five lessons It doesn't take a whole lot of time Out of the day. We have a couple Ongoing meditations they can use which is like begin your day the calm away So you've been rushed to your day you're coming into the classroom. Let's all just pause and breathe for a moment and then we have one Called pause and breathe where it's like after a transition they can just take a moment to reset, you know after they're coming back from lunch or recess and then a couple others like that. So it's not a big time dedication necessarily, but it just gives those little bitty tools to like shift the focus or bring your thoughts back to the moment or some language to help peers get along a little bit better. So yeah, the schools that it's in are liking it. Yeah, yeah,

Breanne Webinar:

I mean. Yeah, I mean, how could they not? It's so awesome. And it's like, we, as a teacher, I mean, I taught for 10 years too, it's like, as a teacher, we have, and as a coach, yeah, like, we have these goals in the classroom, and we want to achieve them, and then we think that there's, like, never enough time. I mean, I feel that a lot as a coach, so, there's not enough time. I feel like our practice is too short anyways to, like, get all the things in. But if kids are distracted, and they're being swept away by these automatic negative thoughts, and, Like, we're actually not utilizing our time effectively anyways, whereas if we could take five minutes and do some of this mindfulness, then we're getting so much more

Nellie:

out of the time. Right, I can imagine in coaching if your athletes come in and they're completely distracted and you don't have this language, you have no way to get them to like, you know, come in and be focused and be like in the right headspace, then you're not going to be as effective like coaching them. They're not going to be learning as much. But if you take the time and you explain. Why this is important so they're like mental game and you take the time to do that, then your whole practice is probably going to be way more effective,

Breanne Webinar:

right? Oh yeah, totally. And the girls, I mean they say they love it too. They're like, I can't imagine

Nellie:

not. I, like we mentioned, I see kids private practice and I see more male athletes. And again, not at the level we just talked about, not the level that you're coaching. But I have some male athletes and I loved one of them. He came in and he was like, So proud to be there. It was not, you know, embarrassing because he's like, no, I'm working on my mental game. Like I've got this. He was the, became as we were working together, the team captain, but he was like, no, I've, I've got the skills. He's like, I need to work on my mental game. And I just love that. Like, yeah, how self aware he was and how proud he was to be like that's incredibly as important as anything else. So I'm sure you hear that

Breanne Webinar:

too. Yeah, yeah, that's great. I mean, yeah, let's talk about that. I get to work with a lot of athletes, but you do too. Like you see the full spectrum, of kids different ages and backgrounds and all the things. And so can you speak to the perspective of specifically, I'm not sure if you see, I see this a lot. And I'm sure you do too. Is this anxiety? You've talked about it a little bit. Like I meet with a lot of athletes and I hear from a lot of parents around just this overwhelming anxiety that athletes are feeling before they play anxiety about their sport and. Yeah, can you just speak from your perspective on if you see that and what you have found to be helpful specifically for anxiety?

Nellie:

Yeah I think it's just performance anxiety. So whether you're performing in the game, whether you're performing like in any other extracurricular activity or performing in the classroom on a test Our anxiety is us not feeling like we are equipped enough to deal with something that's going to happen. But I always tell clients like anxiety exists in the future. So I'm like right now in this present moment, are you okay? Like we're having a nice conversation, you're in my office, like right now in this moment. You are. Okay, so let's, first of all do some breathing and like, or some grounding, like you said, you all do that too. A grounding meditation and become present in this moment. Then let's separate ourselves from whatever is causing us that anxiety. Like what is that anxious thought? So we'll write it down and then we have a process of just called ants, like automatic negative thoughts and questioning though. So like, do you know that that's true? So whatever it is, like maybe give me an example an anxious thought someone might have coming into a game. Yeah

Breanne Webinar:

I'm just gonna play terribly and embarrass

Nellie:

myself. Yeah, so like first we would ground and be present in the moment and then we would say, do you know that for sure? What proof do you have? Does everybody else agree with that? Could there be another perspective? Who would you be if you drop this thought? Can you drop the thought? Like, do you feel like you can drop that thought and just, like, be here and, like, separate from the thought? And then we do, like, kind of like a turnaround. This is all from, or not all of it. It's like an amalgamation of a couple different Like therapists, psychologists, but this part is like a Byron Katie. And it's like what's the turnaround? Like what is the opposite of that? And then like, let's lean into that and make a plan. So when we're calm, we're able to like use the thinking part of our brain and, you know, make a plan that you talk about, then we can execute. But if we're just overwhelmed by the anxious thought and first grounding or, you know, or doing a breathing meditation, breathing always sends a message to the brain and the body that we want to calm down and will physically calm us. Where you can ground in the present moment, but then you begin to separate from that anxious thought, because the thought is creating the emotion, which is anxiety, which is creating the behavior, which is you actually messing up in the game, and then you're just adding proof to your thought. But if we can separate from that thought and question it, using that ANTS process, then we can hopefully drop the thought and then make a plan to the contrary when we're using the prefrontal cortex part of our brain. But we can access that, if the anxiety is taken over.

Breanne Webinar:

Yeah, that's great. Yeah. We actually teach the work by Byron Katie in our program. So, as a kind of a ahead of time technique, so. Which our athletes, they do engage in is there anything that you recommend or have seen useful for that moment, like say it, we don't have enough time to like get out the journal and go through like, is this true? What would I be without it? Anything in those moments that you found helpful?

Nellie:

Like if you've messed up and you're there in the game? Yeah, like you're

Breanne Webinar:

there, it's happening or you know, you're just, you're in the moment, maybe like right before the game, I could going out for warmups

Nellie:

and just, you know, there's several I like the grounding, like just finding like one thing you said, you have like a word. Like I had one with an athlete. It was like, find a color, and you like look in the crowd and like, just find that color. Any way to bring yourself from like, Thinking about the future or the past, and when it comes to anxiety, you're thinking about the future and bringing yourself into the present moment. So you can use any of your five senses to do that. You can notice something you're smelling. You can, you know, notice how your feet feel right in the moment. That's going to bring you into the present moment. Again, you can notice something you're seeing, a color in the audience. And then always taking that long, slow, deep breath because that's physically, the thought is this is going to happen. I'm not going to know what to do with it. So your amygdala is reacting. It's like, Oh my gosh, what do we need to do? How can I protect you? But when we take that long, slow, deep breath, it overrides that anxious thought. And it says to the brain, I know I'm feeding you anxious thoughts and like telling you to take care of me. You know, and to go into the fight, flight, or freeze response, but in this moment, I'm actually okay. And I'm showing you that by taking this long, slow, deep breath, because if I weren't okay, I couldn't do that. I would be running, you know, fight, fighting, fighting, fleeing, or freezing. So yeah, so the breath is always a good one. And then just being in the moment, like have you ever heard of you probably have Angela Dweck and like, the grit and the flow, I mean, just like, when we can just be present in the moment, that's when our best, like, you've already practiced, you've already done all you can at practice, like, just being in the moment, not allowing those anxious thoughts to take over is like, you know, when you're going to perform the best, so just being fully present if you can again, those little bitty skills and those little bitty mental tricks to get there. But that's when you perform the best when you're in the flow. Yeah. So good. Like I tell kids, with a test, you've already studied, you've already done everything you can. Those anxious thoughts are going to take over and all that information is not going to come out. But if you can like manage those anxious thoughts, that information will just like flow out. It's in your brain. You've already studied. And it's only not going to is if a, you don't know it or be, you allow the anxious thoughts to take over the information that, you know, so thing about the flow in a, in like, in a game or in a sport.

Breanne Webinar:

Yeah, such a useful skill. And I love that. You know, it's practiced as well. Like he says, it doesn't take very long. It saves time. And that, like we teach that too. It's you know, they have a daily mindset practice. It takes like less than five minutes and they're like, just slowly building that muscle. Like they wouldn't have something they can rely on. One thing that I. The empathy part of what you all teach is really interesting to me. Can you talk about like I guess the benefit, you've said the benefit in relationships but how does empathy relate to mindfulness and, in being

Nellie:

in the present moment? Sure. Empathy is like just being able to pause and take the perspective of another person. So the sixth through eighth grade lesson I teach is like, have you ever been. Sitting in class and you're like, your teacher comes in and they're in a bad mood, you know, and you're like, Oh, what happened to her? Like, why is she in a bad mood? But if we can, like, just pause, not absorb because negative energy is contagious, you know, whether it's with a friend, a spouse, a teacher, what a teammate then if we can just pause and not absorb that. negativity and be able to try to take the perspective of the other person, then we develop empathy, we're able to have empathy for someone else. So you can think kind of like we just did with the ants, instead of like taking it personally, or absorbing the negative energy, just be like, Oh, yeah, what might she be going through to be in a bad mood? Oh, she did say this is a really stressful time of year for teachers, or like, she has this thing going on outside the classroom that she shared with us or with a teammate, like, Oh, yeah, she has this or that going on, or she did really bad that last game and like, maybe she's embarrassed, but like, it's just being able to pause and not absorb the negativity and try to take the perspective of the other person. And I just think it's a really important skill to have. And yeah, I talk about it in the lesson, like we all come from different, life paths and journey and like, we all have different opinions and until we can actually truly hear the opinion of another person, we have to be able to just like. Pause and not be affected by someone else's negativity or what we think that might mean about us, or whatever that is. So just being able to like, kind of put on a shield and like be okay and not absorbing any of the again, negativity or opinions of someone else. And then being able to like, try to listen with an open mind and, you know, an open heart about like what their perspective is, what they're truly saying. Yeah, exactly.

Breanne Webinar:

It's so important.

Nellie:

Yeah, in the classroom, it just helps like if you teach that little lesson, even at a young age, and it's really cool to see kids when you just remind them if there's a conflict, like, let's just pause. And let's listen to their perspective and then let's listen to theirs and then you're just truly trying to hear each other and come to a point of understanding with one another. You can't do that, though, if you're just

Breanne Webinar:

yeah, yeah, so important. I mean, I'm thinking like, in a team city, obviously, all relationships, classroom, everything. This is so important in a team setting. A big thing is like, There could be some drama because there is competition for spots and there's all sorts of different personalities and we're trying to work towards a common goal, but we have different ways that we think we should do it to get their teammates and, it's just key to, well, yeah, first of all, not take on like the energy and the emotions of other people is huge because it's one of my, it's hard not to, but it's so frustrating when I hear a player say like, oh, well, they took away my confidence or like, they, I'm like, no, you, you gave it to them. You let, you let, yeah. Think about, but yeah, that's hard to do, but such a powerful skill to have, to not feel like other people are just taking everything from you.

Nellie:

Yeah. Yeah. Have you heard of NBC or nonviolent communication? I have heard of that. Okay. Yeah. That's just a really good, like it's observation feeling need requests, so like I observed this happen, you took my spot. That makes me feel. Angry or like embarrassed or whatever it is. Because I have a need for Whatever their need is and there's a sheet that comes with like basic human needs basic human emotions and then would you be willing to like would you be willing to Consider this or that like maybe probably not give me spot, but like considering my feelings here. So it's just a really nice structured way to talk. Like once you're able to pause and not get upset or not take on the negativity, just express yourself and it helps you, you know, I'm sure you've heard of like I statements like in therapy but it's just like everybody has emotions and needs and it's just allowing instead of like you took away my confidence. I have a need for this when you did this, you know, I felt this way. Would you be willing to do X, Y, or Z to mend it or to like move forward or whatever it is. So it's just a nice structure of being able to like have nonviolent communication or like conflict resolution. And it's a, you know, I don't really like the word violent, but it's just a nice structured way that helps people. Yeah. Talk through conflict.

Breanne Webinar:

I think that's good. Can you say what the structure is again? Because I think I might need to use this today with my team

Nellie:

might be good for you to like my husband is like really well trained in and he doesn't. Businesses and like people are in different seats and you have a needs in like this certain C, which would be like a position and just how to like, yeah, talk through conflict because we don't know how to do that and then we all get like heightened and then we're not hearing each other. And it's like, well, you did. So it's observation. So like what I observed you did and you kind of do that with like some So it's like, this is what I observed. Like it, it might not be what you observed. It might not be right, but this is what I observed happen. Observation feeling. It made me feel because I have a need for blank. And you make a request, would you be willing to do this? Yeah.

Breanne Webinar:

Okay. Great framework. Yeah, because as teams, you know, go through a season right here. There was something that came up on our team recently that we had to work through and I'm actually super proud of the way that our leaders handled it because it was very much like, oh, you know, thank you for sharing your perspective. I didn't know you felt that way. Here's how I saw it. So it was a lot of that really good language. But if we would be able to follow a structure like that, I mean, that's huge and such

Nellie:

a skill. Tell me more about that if you don't mind, like, what happened and like, how were you able to have them talk through it?

Breanne Webinar:

Yeah, so we actually started our season learning how to have a restorative circle if you've heard that. So yeah, so we established that very early on that our norms every week we circle and we have just different prompts. It starts out light like roses, thorns, things like that. And then, if there's issues that are coming up we have a framework to like help talk about those things and just like norms around, like who speaks and how you talk and how you share and all of that. So we've like, we had already kind of established that structure week by week and then a conflict came up just with like. Some of the leaders on our team who I don't like give all the details. It's kind of a long thing. they had to make a decision on what they were going to do. And half of the leaders wanted to do it one way and half we just want to do it another way. But it wasn't just differing of how they wanted to do it. It was if you choose to do that, it's really going to impact my relationship with you hurt my feelings on a deep level. I'm not sure if I'm gonna be able to repair, like it was more deep. It was deeper than just like a preference type thing. Yeah, yeah. And so they, yeah, we were able to like go around, use that restorative circle practice to have everyone share equally, you know, even as simple as like using a talking piece and share what they're saying. And yeah, so, I ended up coming too, like. Resolution just, I mean, it was hard. It took like an hour, but

Nellie:

that's great though. If you already have those norms in place, that's

Breanne Webinar:

awesome. Yeah. Well, good. But I mean, I credit also just their individual, you know, being able to stay present in a conversation like that and ground yourself. And like, when emotions come up like this was a very, highly charged conversation and like, and it could have been people were angry, you know, people's feelings had been hurt. So. Also being able to, like, have them lean on techniques like mindfulness and grounding, you know, like that was really big for them. Yeah. So. Awesome. Yeah, well Nellie, this has been such a great conversation and I love the work that you're doing. Can you share

Nellie:

with our audience where we

Breanne Webinar:

can find you and more, more about your work?

Nellie:

Yeah, so I have three websites actually. One call my kids.org is the calma program for the classroom. I have calma coach.com, which is my private practice behavior specialist, and then call my cat.com, which is we're at Sell the book, the Pause and Breathe book for little kids. Again, the comma kids is.org. The other two are.com, so comma Kids. And then yeah, my Instagram is comma dot Kids, so that's C A L M A.

Breanne Webinar:

kids. Cool. Yes. I followed you this morning accidentally. There's another coma kids, but it's like a clothing brand or something. I like accidentally followed them first and I was like, maybe this doesn't seem right.

Nellie:

Yeah. I had to get Thema doc kids. But yeah,

Breanne Webinar:

Cool. Well thank you again for coming on, sharing your time, sharing your wisdom. I really appreciate it. Thank you.