May
30
 

Thoughtful leadership starts with understanding

Thoughtful leadership starts with understanding
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
~Marie Curie

A client called me the other day, to check in between coaching sessions. “I don’t know what to do,” she said, “and it’s keeping me from moving forward.”

We dug into her situation, and her feelings around her situation. Bottom-line, she was caught in fear. She was being asked by her boss to step into a role that she felt at least slightly unprepared for. Her boss “knew” she could do it, and she felt buoyed by the fact that her boss knew she could do it. But she felt unprepared, and frozen with fear.

“I don’t know all the facts about the situation,” she said.

“You can find them out,” I reminded her. “Whom do you need to talk to?”

“I don’t have all the right skills,” she added.

“Talk to your boss,” I reminded her. “I’m sure she’ll hook you up with people who can teach you what you need to know, and besides, we both know she wouldn’t give you this opportunity if she didn’t think you could pull it off. And pull it off with shining colors.”

We talked it through for a while, and the conversation continued in a somewhat circular manner. As we wrapped up our call, I asked what I almost always ask my clients at the end of a session, “What are you walking away with?”

“That I’m probably more prepared than I think I am,” she answered. “And that I have to talk to more people, so I can understand more about the situation and the project…and then I’ll feel less afraid.”

The more we understand, the less we have to be afraid of. The more we gather answers to the things we’re questioning, the less unknown there is to fear. It’s very often this simple. When we feel panicked, or anxious, a great first step is to list what we don’t know, and then find out what we need to in order to increase our knowledge and comprehension.

And to lessen our fear.

How have you moved past fear with understanding?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

If you want a partner in walking through fear, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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