“I don’t get what is so hard to understand!”
I could feel my blood pressure rising and my lips pulling back in a snarl. It is such an easy concept I thought. Are they intentionally being belligerent?
In the middle of my frustration, someone I greatly respected pointed out, “They aren’t you”. While that didn’t stop my rant or frustration at the time, it did later. My frustration then turned to shame and through self-leadership became empowerment.
Something that we do not do enough of as leaders is mentor ourselves. Not only examining where we have done well and why but also making sure we continue to improve.
Not everyone is going to think or process information in the same way or speed you do. Maybe they will be faster, slower or as is often the case, simply different.
The example above is not one I am proud of but it is very important I own it. I later thanked my friend for calling me out. They did so with gentle compassion. I was grateful that they cared enough about me to be willing to correct me and place things back in perspective.
Does it sting? Yes. Absolutely. I despise the part of myself that can be impatient or rash. But part of owning my mistakes is also giving compassion to myself.
This is also self leadership. If I am not compassionate with myself, I won’t have a good framework in being so with others. I also will stay stuck on my mistakes and never grow.
I like to think that compassionate self-leadership will allow me to approach the same situation with not only a better mindset but more productive conversation.
As leaders we need to both show up and own up.