Leaders - Stop Pretending it's all OK

It's okay not to be okay

By , Monday 11th of May 2020

So  - how are you doing?......Good? Not good? Coping? Surviving? Loving it, still?

Your answer could be any one of those, and many, many others…and it can and will change day by day…

Over these weeks, I have been more curious and attentive to how I operate, and closer introspection and gentle teaching has led me to see that my tendency to put a positive spin on everything, is not just a thinly disguised attempt to escape darker thoughts, but it’s also unintentionally a blocker to enabling people around me to really say how they feel, or to indeed to be how they feel.

Added to this, I am noticing from talking to others that:

  • As time goes on, any initial novelty and enjoyment of our captivity is wearing thin for some - motivation is dwindling
  • Some of us are beating ourselves up for a lack of ‘productivity’…and not forgiving ourselves for having a day when energy seems harder to access
  • We are letting the gratitude we have for our good fortune, (not being ill, not having anyone ill in our family, having a garden, not having to go to war - the list goes on) prevent us from really feeling any pain and heartache, and being open enough to declare it

When we are left alone with our thoughts the potential for damage can be high, and many of us are alone….either physically alone, or feeling alone when surrounded by others.

To help this, here are three things leaders can do to help others:

  1. Let yourself feel your sadness and in doing so, be more real
  2. Don’t deny your people have that space to feel it too if they want to, because you have made a genuinely psychologically safe space for them to speak their truth 
  3. Resist the voice that tells you that as a leader you ‘should’ be moving them towards a solution. Sometimes, out of the darkness comes the light.

As Francis Bacon said: 

“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.”

With love,