Recently, I completed a Women in Leadership training, and received lovely (and what I believe to be sincere) feedback from the participants about my facilitation style, my way of being and the value of the training. It’s interesting for me that I am sometimes still surprised when I hear this, and I don’t always immediately believe it.
The next morning, I was sitting at one of my favourite coffee shops, with the most beautiful view of our misty mountain. There’s a ‘working bar’ by the window with plugs for laptops etc and because the seats are high it’s not the most comfortable spot for me. However, I wanted to be considerate and not take up a whole table, so perched here next to a woman who was completely focused on her laptop with her notes alongside her. During a break, we got chatting and she’s on year six of her PhD… and completely challenged by it! (Familiar territory to me because I have coached a few PhD students, and I know it’s not an easy journey).
Before we went back to work, she said that although she’s not into ‘energy’ as such (such a Cape Town thing!), she was struck by the fact that when I sat down next to her and settled into my work, I gave off a grounded energy which she appreciated and was a “welcome surprise”. (Apparently, there is another person who sometimes sits next to her, bangs their keyboard, saps her energy, and leaves her with a feeling of dread.)
This got me thinking though…
Considering the fact that I received this type of feedback two days in a row, how do I allow myself to believe it without developing a puffed-up ego, rather a gentle internal acknowledgement that some people appreciate my way of being?
Much of the work I do supports people to uncover their blind spots, encouraging them to be open to feedback, receiving acknowledgements and recognising areas of potential growth. You’d think this would be automatic for me, but like all of us, I’m an ongoing student of life and still flexing this muscle.
So today, as I gaze at our misty mountain, I choose to breathe in the acknowledgement and thank my life journey for who I am today.
Maybe I’m grounding for some, and maybe exhausting for others… either way, I’m me.