Updated: Oct 12
BRAVE AND COURAGEOUS LEADERS ROLE MODEL VULNERABILITY – DO YOU?
Leaders, your tribe need to hear about your moments of vulnerability AND at times see it too.
Two key benefits of sharing your vulnerability for YOU and your TRIBE:
1. For you - it deepens your self-awareness AND helps to prevent associated feelings and emotions resurfacing
2. For your tribe – it gives them hope, encouragement and strength that they too can get through difficult times
It creates the space for deep and meaningful relationships to build and consolidate.
Take part in the Brave Leaders Campaign by:
Responding to two questions below:
1. What has been your experience of dealing with something that has made you feel vulnerable recently?
2. What have you learnt from this experience and how has it shaped how you now lead?
Remember to #braveleaders
My story is shared below:
So here I open up the window into my world during lock down. I have shared with you whole heartedly and hope that by reading this, it gives you the strength to contribute to the very worthwhile Brave Leaders Campaign to help your tribe and others around you.
Share your experience of a difficult time you had to deal with recently.
My experience of lockdown has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions and tensions between the various roles I play in my life. I am a wife of a loving and supportive partner, a mother of two wonderful and energetic boys; a six-year old and a soon to be two -year old. I am a business owner and work as a psychologist and leadership coach. When I look back to the months of lockdown, I still find it hard to believe how ‘I’ and ‘we’ as a family and a business got through this time – whilst at the same time I look back and treasure some of my most fondest moments in my personal and professional life during the mayhem, chaos and at times very surreal reality.
Gratefully and excitingly work got even busier for me as my coaching clients wanted more frequent sessions, there was a demand from my corporate clients for online workshops and so much more. Whilst all this was so exciting, I would often sit back and think how was I going to make all this possible. Whatever work I couldn’t complete during the day, I would log back on in the evenings when the kids were asleep and work till early hours of the morning. I was working most weekends too and getting minimal sleep as my youngest was still waking several times at night. I remember constantly feeling a real sense of guilt that I was not spending enough quality and focused time with my eldest to home-school him, and often felt it was more about me ticking it off my to-do list, rather than helping him to fully embrace his work.
I noticed I was sleeping less, becoming irritated and felt constantly on edge and was also starting to feel nauseas! We soon found out we were expecting our third. It took me several weeks to come around to the idea of being pregnant again and what this would mean for us as a family and everything else that would be part of this journey too, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. However, ten weeks later, a scan confirmed we had miscarried; there was no longer a growing fetus. We were devastated – we experienced our first real loss.
In the next room, I could hear the giggles and mischief of my boys, and it instantly lifted my sadness, and I felt so eternally grateful for what we have, which helped me to accept that it was just not meant to be. My body knew what it needed to do, and unexpectantly I went into a mini labour with severe contractions. I was rushed alone into hospital in an ambulance, leaving behind my husband and boys at home. Whilst all this was happening, all I could think of was wanting it all to be over, so I could be back at home with my boys. It was only till a few weeks later, that I recognised I was still going through a grieving process and just needed some time to myself, but there was no chance of that, as work and home life was not slowing down. When I had moments of time to myself, I was able to give myself the space to digest what I had experienced and how I felt about what had happened. This time gave me the chance to re-focus, re-set my goals and gain a sense of balance and direction again.
2. What have you learnt about yourself during this time and how has it changed the way you lead?
a. The importance of being able to give myself the gift of ‘time’, whether this be fifteen minutes or ninety minutes, whenever possible each week to step away from the drama and busyness, listen to what both my heart and head are pulling at and then gaining a sense of balance, purpose and focus. This way, I could bring the best version of myself to situations and to each role. Everyone around me benefitted from a calmer and more present version of me. It is something I still continue to do each week as it allows me to show up fully for my family and my clients and multiply my impact.
b. I’ve developed the skill of being able to compartmentalise, so when I am working, I am fully present with what I am doing, even though significant personal issues may be going on for me. On reflection, the skill of being able to compartmentalise, was born from being very time poor, and realising that I may only get a small window of time to do something, so I needed to be totally switched on in that time to get things done. It has made me become more task focused, but at the same time it has also created space for time for the other things I love; building and deepening relationships with those around me.
c. It’s okay to have days when I’m not feeling the most positive or vibrant normal self, and it’s okay to share this briefly with my clients, when they ask me how I am doing too. Previously I would have brushed it off and wanted to purely focus on them, whilst now, I will share briefly how I am feeling too when asked, as it creates a deeper level of connection and realism – a mutual trust and respect.
This is my story and now what is yours?