The confluence of the pandemic, the economic crash, racism, and violence battering everyone is deeply saddening and aching for the nation and for leaders no matter what capacity you are leading in.
According to Robert K. Greenleaf, “a servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.”
Perhaps as I, you too embrace the concept of Servant Leadership. As leaders, we have managed to embrace the difficult work and continue to serve our varied constituents. We recognize that we are essential as we continue to serve in our capacity as leaders. The work is hard and we place great expectations on ourselves because we have a responsibility to serve, yet remain strong. However, there is a cost to us.
We spend our days encouraging traumatized people to be resilient, yet we are often traumatized because we are human and dealing with the same challenges. It is important for us to take the time to share how we are coping and dealing with the trauma we experience, see, and hear every day.
As leaders we need to create psychological safe spaces so we can share about our self-care and encourage ourselves as we strive to continue to put in the work.
The following are some suggestions to start this process:
· Create psychological safe spaces for conversations to occur
· The conversations should be facilitated
· The conversations should be positioned in the framework of getting to know one another better
through the lens of race, equity, diversity, and inclusion
· Experiential exercises to help facilitate the conversations
· Cannot be a one-time event