It takes courage:
To stand for your beliefs and values. (I am not speaking about shooting people who may be different from you and that you therefore may feel threatened by or angry with.) I am referring to informed voting.
To say goodbye or let go, whether through a move, death, career change, website redo (my current project), etc.
To say hello to new opportunities, relationships
To care (Yes, including professionally!)
*Books like Jack Mitchell’s Hug Your Customer; Hug Your People point to the benefits of putting care or love into action in the workplace.“’Hugging’ is Jack’s metaphor for bringing humanity back into the workplace… by getting to know, pay attention to and being curious about those we do business with by taking the time to learn what matters to them.” And, I add, to act based on what you learn matters to them. I recently heard Erica Dhawan refer to this as “combustion” in her WBECS (World Business Executive Coaching Summit) program. Benefits for leaders include decreased turnover and increased engagement of staff and customers.
This photo is of my daughter Amelia and I in front of a statue of a lion, a symbol of courage, at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Our native Kansas is globally known for the Wizard of Oz. The Lion in that story sets off on the yellow brick road with his companions and discovers the courage within him, as he seeks to lovingly protect his companions on their journey. (notice the love images in the photo as well!)
Courage is not the absence of fear, which the lion first believes, but acting in the face of fear. In coaching we see the greatest obstacle to progress is fear. We choose whether to be frozen by fear or step up with courage and commitment. Partnering with a caring coach makes moving past the fear easier! (Coaching calls it “unconditional positive regard”)
I first wrote on this topic four years ago, as I was both just starting to blog and also preparing to leave for a three month Asia Pacific journey. That trip included staying with people I had not yet met in person. I was very aware of the saying goodbye/letting go and saying hello cycle, which never ends! The title of that blog series was “Untethering (letting go) for the journey.”
At that time four years ago I attended both a wedding ceremony and a celebration of life in one week. The wedding ceremony included the commitment of caring for each other no matter what: in sickness and in health; of loving the other (“learning what matters to them” and acting on that) even when it is inconvenient, and not always knowing what to expect. That takes courage!
Later that week I witnessed love, commitment and courage in action at a celebration of life for a friend who was in the last phase of their earthly journey, with their caring spouse at their side. All of this while saying goodbye to my friends and family, home, and my customary way of life, to set out on a three month Asia Pacific journey, not fully knowing what to expect. An emotional week!
The circle of life repeated itself in 2017 with the death of my dad followed five months later with the birth of our grandson Theo (who is a lion for Halloween!). Theo had open heart surgery three months later, requiring lots of courage, care and commitment. I feel a little emotional now speaking of it.
My intention for the three month Asia Pacific journey was to step out in faith with courage, commitment and caring, including in my speaking engagements. Rather than focusing on my pre-speaking “flutters” I shifted my focus to serving my audiences from my heart. That shift, which is natural for me in coaching, had been more challenging in speaking.
How are you choosing to live a life of courage, commitment and caring-in the workplace and in life? I want to hear from you!
Ready to explore how to courageously step up with commitment and care? Apply for an Unlock Potential strategy session.
Marilyn O’Hearne, with this week’s weekly wisdom, hoping to see you next week. Thanks!
To our unlocking potential, prosperity and peace-we are in this together!
Marilyn O’Hearne, MSW, MCC, LLC
CQ Master Certified Coach, International Coach Federation
*See also Benefiel’s Soul at Work;The Soul of a Leader; Parker Palmer’s A Hidden Wholeness; and Stanley Herman’s The Tao at Work.