Are you dealing with something really hard at the moment? Maybe you’re performance managing someone? Or you’ve got to tell your team that the project they’ve worked so hard on has had its funding pulled. Or maybe even you’ve got a lot going on at home and you snapped at someone in a meeting today and you really need to apologise to them (how embarrassing right?).
The thing is no matter how far up the ladder you progress in your career you still have to deal with the hard stuff. And, while training in having hard conversations, dealing with conflict and managing poor behaviour helps, it doesn’t always address the inherent trauma we all feel when dealing with such difficult topics.
The thing is these ARE hard conversations and no framework, template, uplifting story is going to make them easy. They are hard because they arouse memories in us, such as when we got into trouble or when we witnessed someone else’s disappointment and saw the pain etched on their faces. It’s only natural that we don’t want to conjure up the same fears and experiences in others. And we certainly don’t want to relive them ourselves.
So instead, we tend to either ignore them, pray they will go away, or convince ourselves that it isn’t that bad after all and therefore no further action is required. And, while we might get away with this in our private life, it’s a different story at work.
So, what’s a leader to do?
The role of the leader is to deal with the hard stuff. To build the personal resilience and the self-efficacy to deal with it head on, with compassion, with understanding and with a view to find a win-win outcome. While this sounds logical it’s not easy to do. We get so caught up in what we are going to do and our own personal story about what this means about us, that we can lose sight in the way we are going to be in this situation. About how we are going to show up for the other person.
The best thing you can do to be a great leader who can handle hard personal situations at work is to do your own inner work. To address the feelings you have about being in trouble and facing disappointment. When we do our own inner work, we clear space for greater understanding and compassion for others. We open ourselves up to finding new possibilities and outcomes in difficult situations. We lose the fear associated with the memories and stories we have told ourselves over the years.
As women we hold the capacity to nurture others through difficult times. We are hardwired for this. We do it with our children, our friends and our family. When we do the work and confidently step back into our more feminine way of being, then all of this knowledge and wisdom we hold becomes available to us again. We hold this capacity as a template in our bodies - not just our physical bodies but our esoteric, energetic bodies. And when we activate it we can deal with hard situations with kindness and compassion. We don’t have to have a hard exterior to create great outcomes. We just need to return to our natural state and reclaim our superpowers!
How good is that!
PS Want some practical tips on how to do this? Download my FREE guide Leading with Courage and Vulnerability and I'll pop you on my mailing list where every week I give you a practical tip on how you can live and lead with more intention. If you take the time to implement these tips then they will have a cumulative effect and before you know it you'll living and leading in a way that makes your heart sing. I promise!