When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.
There are so many reasons why misunderstandings occur, and for as long as I have been in the business world, core issues come from miscommunication or an entire lack of communication.
This goes back before the technology we have now. When I started, it was carbon paper memos. Back then, it was a delay in hand delivering the memo. Not to mention the imprecision of words and context.
With the current age of technology, information comes quickly; however, it is still imprecise and still lacking a narrative that is easily understood and relatable.
Face to face dialogue often skirts around challenging topics, and you typically are the last to know if something is off when it pertains to you. 🤷♀️
How many times have you been involved in something and just wondered where in the world did that story or premise come from. 🙄
I mean, it can be crazy and take so much time to get to the bottom of the issue.
Owning your story is just like owning your professional brand. You create it, nurture it, be consistent with it, and communicate it clearly.
Convey your story
In the past several years, leadership gurus have been talking about being vulnerable to connect to other people and, as a leader your staff.
I agree with that guidance.
When you unpack that, the way you communicate your story and convey it in a meaningful way, makes all the difference and allows people to see your vulnerability.
In the world of communication, how effective you are is always determined by the audience, never the narrator. Therefore, your story becomes the connective energy with your audience to build and deepen relationships. And let’s face it, we all like a good story!
How do you tell your story?
Why should you tell your own story?
First things, first! Why is this important?
When we don’t own our narrative, others will fill in with their assumptions, their part of the story and what they perceive. Next thing you know, misunderstandings have creeped in, and you’re having to spend time unwinding the narrative that was created.
Also, in business, if you don’t share your story, and you wait to be discovered, you’re probably going to stay undiscovered.
So here are some tips:
make time to connect with people so you can tell your story. Don’t rely on electronic communication only.
no matter what industry you work in, it’s a people business. Stories connect people.
build relationships with your colleagues, peers, and leader. Tell your story on what is going well and where you need help.
be open to exploring the narrative to ensure that your being honest with yourself.
make time to communicate, communicate, communicate, and then when you’re tired of communicating, communicate some more. People only hear a portion of the story each time you tell it.
be authentic, slow it down, and be clear and present. Ensure you’re connecting your head and heart.
For my female readers, this is going to be hard. This isn’t about bragging rights, this is just about shared experiences and also ensuring those around you have an understanding of what your contributing.
For my male readers, if you find this easy, my ask is to mentor a woman in the team to help her gain comfort and confidence. Men typically do this really well, so help a girl out. 🙌
Life comes at us fast. A lot of times, we miss the opportunity to communicate clearly because we believe we are just too busy.
This takes place in our personal or professional lives. We often treat it as additional work and put it off. If we are not comfortable with what needs to be communicated, we will procrastinate and put it far on the back burner, choosing other activities.
However, when we take the time to own our narrative, be open to discussion, build our story, we can save endless hours of misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and lost energy and purpose.
When we incorporate this into just the way we work, we can increase the effectiveness and engagement of the team.
Don’t leave holes in your story and Shine Brightly!
Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.
Arthur Sommers Roche
This weeks blog post is very transparent about the struggles I have faced with Anxiety and coming to terms with the stigma often attached, due to being categorized as a Mental Health issue.
What I have learned is that, it isn’t that simple, and it isn’t separate from physical health. It certainly doesn’t make you less of a person, leader, friend, wife or family member.
I am writing this to hopefully demystify and de-stigmatize this topic and encourage others to share their story. As you will see below, you are not alone and if you do not have Anxiety you probably know someone, lead someone or love someone who has anxiety and is hiding it from the world.
Life is Seasonal…
Life is extraordinary in its ability to take us on twists and turns, we have ups and downs, and we have lots of moments of learning.
We also have a lot of happiness and joy, as well as sadness and heartache.
Over the years, as I have faced different situations, I have begun to look at these times as different seasons. Some are awesome, some not so much. When I reflect on it this way, I don’t feel so overwhelmed by the downtimes, or over joyous on the good times. I tend to roll with it in the moment and enjoy the ride.
Now, this is not easy, and it took me close to 40 years to get to this spot. I often wonder what life would have looked like if I hadn’t spent a lot of it worrying about things or being an emotional wreck in the times that were not great. How would I have enjoyed the good times more, be present more,perhaps even laugh more?
“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.”
― Roy T. Bennett
This is the January article I wrote for Emerging Women NC, a division of BJD Leadership.
Increasing the momentum of change…
About ten years ago, in a leadership course, the facilitator made the statement that “the only constant in life is change.” At the time, all the leaders in that class thought that the changes we were experiencing were going extremely fast and really couldn’t get any faster.
I look back now and think, WOW that wasn’t fast at all.
The pace of change is relative, as changes are happening more rapidly year over year, the wisdom from that facilitator is applicable today and into the future. How we prepare and accept that change is a constant, will aid us in navigating the significant growth we need in our careers.
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
— Sheryl Sanberg, COO of Facebook
This is the February article I wrote for Emerging Women NC, a division of BJD Leadership.
This month we are exploring compassionate leadership that includes: Love, Respect and Gender Equality.
When we are without …
Many of us have had situations when we didn’t feel cared for by our immediate leader or an organization where we worked.
Feeling un-cared for and in some cases less-than, we feel disconnected and resign ourselves to fly under the radar, instead of going above and beyond and tapping into our discretionary energy. This drives us into a scarcity mindset, and we become focused on surviving the day. That is an unhealthy work life to be in.
While we are ultimately in charge of our own well-being, leadership that illuminates a disconnect from compassion and respect, can create a breeding ground for unhealthy work environments which can perpetuate this mindset from the top on down.