Has this ever happened to you?
You’ve been in a social setting at work, a morning tea or in those few minutes before a meeting starts and someone makes a sexist or a racist comment and then laughs it off.
Or maybe they tell an inappropriate joke or recall a story from the weekend that really doesn’t belong in the office.
You really pride yourself on your professionalism. As a leader you’re an active advocate for diversity and equality. You’ve got a split second to decide how to respond. Someone has rolled their eyes, others look as though they are processing whether they heard right or not and you’re left hanging there.
Every fibre of your being wants to say something and call it out. But you’re paralysed. As the micro-seconds tick over and nothing is said you start to second guess what actually happened. Are you sure they said those words, did your colleague really roll their eyes? And, before you know it the time to speak up has passed. The conversation has moved on and you’re kicking yourself for not standing up when you had the opportunity to.
So, you make a promise to yourself that NEXT time you’ll speak up. That you’d rather be wrong that stay silent. But deep inside you know that no matter how much you want to that to be true, it’s more likely you won’t.
Damn. That’s not who you want to be.
It’s the worst feeling, isn’t it? That feeling that the gap between how you see yourself and what you actually do is wider than you’d hoped. That no matter how good your intentions are, you just don’t have the gift to say the right thing, in the right tone at the right time. You don’t trust that you can actually pull such a move off.
So, what would it take to get there?
· What would you have to do, to really believe that you could?
· What proof would you need to be brave enough to try it?
· What fears would you have to let go of to make it a low risk move?
· What benefits would have to be gained to make it worthwhile?
Tough questions huh? But they are the heart of what gets in the way of us doing the things we want to do. Or perhaps more importantly being the leader we want to be.
We need to:
· Envision ourselves doing it, and savour all the details of what this would look like.
· Remember the times we’ve done it before, giving ourselves proof we can.
· Make the pain of not doing it so great that inaction is off the table.
· Make the personal benefit of doing it so great that we’ll do it regardless of the risk.
Want some practical tips on how to do this? Sign up to my mailing list and every Monday I’ll give you a do-able tip that you can try. And, as the weeks pass by, you’ll experience the compounding effect these shifts have on your mindset and your know-how to become the leader that you see yourself as.