Am I allowed to show my vulnerability?
As an entrepreneurial leader in running businesses, my clients and staff expect me to lead and set the direction of where we go next. I have to make decisions fast and some of the time I don't have all the facts to help that decision making any easier. As a result, I live in my head at times and those masculine qualities make me a good leader.
My feminine aspects are soft and caring. They want to hug and kiss a lot of people.
A couple of weeks ago, we had driven back from a friends place and both the kids had fallen asleep in the car on the way home. It was 9:30pm so it was understandable and Scott my husband offered to pick up our older child who is 8. I was on that side of the car and suggested I will get her and he can get our younger child.
As I went to pick up her, I couldn't. She was heavier than I imagined. My memory cast to a few weeks ago when she was measuring how tall and heavy she was. She was now 32 kgs she had told me. No wonder I am having trouble I thought.
Determined to carry her, I bent my legs. Unclasped the belt and took a deep breath. My steps were slow. And my breath was heavy. By the time I got her to bed, I had a couple of beads of sweat and was a little breathless. Then I burst into tears. Scott had just put the little one to bed and looked worried when he saw me. 'You've hurt yourself?'. I was still sobbing.
I hugged him and said 'I wont be able to carry her anymore. I have carried her in my tummy to almost 9 years of age and I won't be able to carry her anymore. She is too big.' He was empathetic but didn't really get my sobbing.
It took me a few moments to realise that I was in my feminine and grieving something I have loved doing. Carrying my baby and rather than my mind taking over saying 'Come on get over it, kids get bigger. You should be glad. Ya da ya da....'. I just stayed and cried.
Even sharing this in a blog is showing my vulnerability. I wanted to though as men and women, we have a right to stay in our heart space and be there and grieve something we have lost even if it is little.
I decided at my next senior leadership team meeting to share this a few days later. My team responded at the end of the meeting saying 'they loved that story, it made me more human' and they could relate to it even if they didn't have children.
Sharing your vulnerabilities in a professional manner is a great way to communicate with others. Sharing it does not make you weak as a woman leader.
Share your learnings in your life when you are in your heart space and deliver it in your head space.
Let people know the human side of you. The softer side. The side that is the same as them. The side that has no ego attached.