I had an interaction with a former staff member yesterday that had me explore my leadership in a different way. See, you all think I’m noble in taking on the goal of empowering my staff to shine, but in a way it’s easy – I work well with each of my 5 staff. I hired them all.
Conversely, I had a lot of challenges working with a former colleague, W. After 3 years of working together and many personality rifts along the way, she left the organization this fall to start her own company – but still works out of our shared office space. As in, I see her nearly every day. And she’s still a volunteer and trainer for us – as are our other former staff – a nice statement of their feelings toward the org!
Yesterday I had an email exchange with W that was typical of our relationship. Her: hey, you know what would be really helpful for me? If you could send me X to make things really simple. Me: hey, guess what? I did send you X two weeks ago. Her: Oops, I guess I missed it. Maybe if you did it like Y instead, it would help. And knowing that I missed it, couldn’t you have sent a reminder?
My nerd flared up – the one that needs to be right and gets judgmental when I feel judged. (I felt judged in this case because of the long-standing dynamic she and I have – I so often hear her suggestions as judgments that imply my own work could be better, simpler, smarter, etc. Some of this is in my head and some is direct feedback she has given me. Interestingly, I can sense that she has lots of stories about how I view her work as well, so it is not always the healthiest of relationships).
When I located the email I had sent her that PROVED I was right, I felt that awful twinge of ‘nah nah,’ I was right. I don’t get that with many other people. But I do see this pattern – when I feel others are making me wrong, or competing with me, or – when it gets down to it – JUDGING me, I do the same to them. Probably why my former boss, A, gets me so riled. He outright judges me, and it makes me feel small. And though I don’t question whether I AM small (I know I’m not), I hate feeling like others walk around viewing me that way. It’s almost as if I’m confident enough to know I’m good and worthy, but I feel wronged by others casting a judgment that I feel is wrong. I hate conflicts and dissonance. I am a people pleaser.
There is another level for me here, and there are many layers to it. This is why I love blogging – it is an outlet to explore ourselves.
1) What triggers me feeling judged and WHY do I hate feeling judged? (I feel a deeper core belief/Kyla-like conversation coming on here, which sounds terrifying)
2) How do I create neutrality? E.g. at face value, W’s email was pretty neutral. I’m the one attaching feelings to it.
3) What if I were a person who was comfortable and complete even if there was someone in the world who didn’t judge me favorably, who didn’t like me?
That last one creates a lot of discomfort with me. I remember my stretch buddy during Advanced telling me that she tried to run toward me as the person she resisted the most, and my response was – me? Who the heck resists me? Funny that I’m confident/self-loving enough to believe that, and yet, I get SUPER uncomfortable if I feel someone doesn’t like me. It should be enough that I know I’m good and likable, and that shouldn’t be determined by others.
(Turns out she resisted me because my ‘hair was straight and pretty’ and I ‘seemed like I had it all together’). So of course my response to that is, OH it’s you and not me! You don’t actually dislike me! Problem solved.
But it’s not – first, that’s a cocky attitude that will distance me from others. And I don’t believe I’m cocky. Second, one of the things I learned about myself during the training was that yes, I do have it all together, and what I get to work on is – how can I be OK when I DON’T have it all together sometimes? How do I fail, and let down my guard, and take risks? (Cue my 3rd weekend cradle song: “What do you say to taking chances, what do you say to jumping off the edge”)
Sounds like an area to get messy in. Maybe a future PSPLife goal. (Terrifying!)
On the morning routine front –I’ve been good about going to bed early and waking up early. 7 am flights will do that to you. Today I had all of my shabbat food in the oven by 7:15 am. Whoo! But I’m still not implementing a ROUTINE, a good, solid, peaceful, energizing routine. The missing element, as I discovered in my buddy call with Sara, is the designated 10 min or so to sit quietly, focus on breathing, intention and contract. To set my peace for the day. I’m generally too busy running to get things done.
Well, I waver between running to get things done and first lying in bed pressing the snooze button. Ironically, what is getting in the way of me creating morning peace is choosing comfort – I’d rather stay in bed or avoid yoga rather than nurture myself to BE comfortable, peaceful, and energized. I’m creating a small mountain to jump over to get to the side of good. And something tells me I’m overthinking things and making this way more complicated than it needs to be. As I would probably tell you in this situation, just do it! Choose it! I generally don’t have more patience than simply moving forward with that solution!
So, on Sunday – I will plot out my routine for the week. Like, write it down and stick to it! And build in things that make me happy!
In the meantime, looking forward to some good sleep this weekend and quality time with Hadar.