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Staying Awake to Others While Navigating Change

As a leader, the people you work with are the key – to creating and building something beautiful and enjoying the work you’re doing. Without people, without a team, the vision does not move forward. Many leaders I work with are working with people who care deeply and work hard. And they are tired and navigating change after unsettling change.

And, the leaders I work with are navigating personal and professional challenges daily. 

P.S. Everyone I work with is a leader because I follow this definition of leadership.*

It is easy to lose sight of how everyone around you is doing when you have so much to do. 

However, there can be detrimental impacts when you are not staying connected to your team, peers, and humans in your life. When we are not paying attention to those around us – we lose the warmth of human connection, love, and care. We lose the insights and visions offered up by different people who see the world and its opportunities differently than we do. We lose out on the potential to build a strong team or a thoughtful family. When we are not attending to our teams and people, relationships may end. We miss the chance to offer support, and we miss the opportunity to grow and learn.

I’ve had moments in my life and my business where I was feeling so overwhelmed that I did not take the time needed to care about the core people in my life. The memories of those moments cause an ache in my heart and belly. 

I am aware that: 

  • I was not living out my values, and 
  • I need to ensure that I do not get to the point of overwhelm that causes me to cut off connections to others.

I continue to work on this in my life. 

How do I live out my value of being in intentional, meaningful relationships with my partners, clients, community, and family while juggling the work of being a human?

Here is a check-in to help you stay connected to your team, the people you work with, and the people you care about in your personal life.
There are four areas to pay attention to 1. tending, 2. tuning, 3. checking in, and 4. changing.

Download this check-in tool here!

Give yourself a mini-audit. 

In your relationships, how are you tending, tuning in, checking in, and changing?

What is ONE thing you can do in ONE of the areas with a teammate or loved one?

No one person can do it all!

Of course, we cannot be connected to everyone on our team or in our community at all times. We need to make choices about who we are investing in and who are the critical relationships for us. And we need to be aware of how much time and capacity we have. It helps to write down who you are committed to being in the right relationship with. 

Others may be acquaintances and colleagues you invest less energy in but treat with respect. If you are in a formal leadership position, you will need to foster skills across your company to help everyone stay connected and check in with staff. 

(You know I am going to say this – but here’s a reminder – to be tuned in and awake to what is happening with others… you need to be awake to yourself and take care of yourself. If there is no energy left in your engine, these practices will be hard to do! Be on the lookout for more in March about staying awake to yourself!)


P.S. Here are some additional resources for Step 3 – Checking In:
4 essential human connections we all need right now
Simple ways to connect with each other, even virtually
How to stay open when you are ready to shut the conversation down
Tips for staying open & non-defensive in difficult conversations
5 Steps for Grounding During Instability
5 steps for grounding during instability pdf
2 questions that cut back the stress

* Vessel Consulting uses Brene Brown’s definition of leadership, “A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes and has the courage to develop that potential.”

Rheanna SmithStaying Awake to Others While Navigating Change

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