Sharing is Caring

I know right, so simple. We are taught this early on, “share your toys” with friends, “share snacks at lunchtime” (pre-COVID of course, don’t do that now), “what’s mine is yours”, “its better to give then to receive” (I am not sure I totally buy – no pun intended – that one). One of things I have found to be my greatest superpower is the power of vulnerability. To share what is going on for me, to share what I am feeling, what I am or have struggled with, what I am scared of, what my hopes and dreams are. I’m inspired to keep doing so when so many people say ‘oh gosh, I am so glad you said that, I was feeling the same way’, and either they couldn’t articulate it, were to afraid to say it aloud, or it was deeper down there and they weren’t ready to ‘go there’. That’s a pretty powerful gift to open the door so people know they are alone, they aren’t a leper in how they are feeling or thinking.

Part of coaching is sharing; sharing my experiences, my thoughts or feelings on a topic. But more so it is creating a safe space for others to share without judgement. This is why I love what I do and why I believe coaching has a profound impact on people. No agenda needed, just meaningful connection on shared experiences (of course there usually is an agenda/goal). The current phrase I hear which resonates, ‘we are in the same storm, but we do not all have the same boat’. True. And when we articulate our experiences others feel connected. Empathy is how we make connections with others. To do this is to listen, relate, and share.

Everyone is talking about the crucial skill for leaders to be empathetic. Empathy is a skill which can be learned, a muscle to exercise. Now we can’t just walk around and say “empathy is important”, or mandate leaders ‘be empathetic’, we need to feel it to believe it. We need to experience empathy from others, especially those with power, to relate to us for it to be embedded in the culture. This is 2 parts listening from leaders, 1 part sharing. As leaders role modeling is hugely impactful. Sharing yourself is a brilliant way to create space for others to see that it is ok to be human, to be vulnerable. How are you sharing yourself with your teams? How are you getting comfortable sharing (and not oversharing, see other blog)? What feels comfortable to share, what doesn’t? And why? Like any new skill that you have not practiced, sharing yourself takes courage to step out of your comfort zone, to try it, and to make mistakes (too much, not enough, goldilocks), especially when the stakes feel high and we are all going through ‘stuff’. Take a step, not a leap. Start working that sharing muscle like we were taught in school.

Here is your Disney, kid-like moment of joy, a song on sharing from T.O.T.S. Sometimes It’s More Fun to Share. In case you missed the memo, I am also a mom to a young one. Happy Friday Eve!

Published by rachaelsarahgass

Working mom, wife, friend, sister, organizational psychologist, learner, coach. Kindness Counts. People First. Integrity Always.

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