One strategy I didn’t reference in my post about discomfort was “Talking about it.” A natural progression of my first suggestion (“Understand the discomfort”) is to share that understanding and in so doing, lighten the burdens that come with knowledge.
I have mentioned this idea of sharing out in the past and in fact as a part of leadership strategies.
This Should be Social discussed the idea that sharing is leadership, in a variety of ways, including sharing your workload to build capacity, sharing your journey so others can learn from it, and even the topic for this post: sharing your struggles to allow other people to assist.
Planned Obsolescence discussed similar ideas within a different context: how can you share now, so that you can one day make the decision to not do that work anymore. My conclusion from that post:
Which brings me back to the reason why I started this with the comment that I think of myself as a minimalist. In everything I do, I try to maintain a level of simplicity, especially when there are things I know to be outside of my control, when anxiety and fear can guide a person to the wrong actions. Those are the times when we need people the most, not things; those are the times when we need to stop hoarding and start sharing.
Hoarding in that instance was about job security and a wrongly held belief that your unique knowledge is what makes you valuable, but Encanto has now taught an entire generation that they are valuable in themselves, instead of solely in their gifts.
So we can and should talk through things as a strategy for pushing through discomfort; the idea isn’t about institutionalizing personal connection, but about allow other people to experience your discomfort; listen to, take it from, or guide you; and in any case help you to work through it. Because in the end, asking for help and showing vulnerability are courageous acts of strength and a necessary part of leading, especially in a world where we have resorted to war to hide such qualities.
Posted: March 11, 2022
In 2022, I am participating in two leadership training programs. This should be a social experience, so I am writing about it. Check out the full list of posts in the series here.