Naked At Work?

There’s always something we don’t feel comfortable with, something that challenges us and makes us feel a little more than awkward about our competence, or makes us feel naked without our previous abilities supporting our confidence. Let’s get real, learning can be a seriously awkward experience for many, stumbling over what we thought we knew to break apart our previous reality as we make way for a new one.


This is the why behind one of my biggest reminders for team leaders – you have to cultivate a company culture of education, from day one.


In any start up, small company, or community organization, there is constant pivoting, tackling of challenges, and taking on something new. This much movement can fester burnout, so how can we get to a point of sustainability when we’re feeling naked in the face of new challenge every damn day?


A. Set expectations in vision & quality. Setting expectations in your vision and quality. We can dream big and say where we want to go, but life and global pandemics happen, so setting the vision for a project, relationship, position is fantastic, but establishing your level of quality is essential to help your team members or leadership team know where/ how they should be keeping you accountable. Don’t know how to get here? Knowing where you’re not is a good start.


B. Feeling stuck with ‘A’? Start with knowing where you’re not. Aka know your hard no’s and boundaries. Know where you’re not. Let’s start in the place that’s for everyone. Knowing your boundaries is big. We can grow in a million directions but where are you putting your foot down because you know that’s best for you?


Team members, knowing your boundaries at the interview stage is huge, aka ignore all fear about saying what you’re not comfortable in doing. This helps your leaders better understand your comfort levels and it gives you a chance to showcase your confidence about who you really are – if someone isn’t into this, you won’t be happy with the culture fit farther down the road.*


Leaders, you are the ones managing the highest risks and juggling the most hats, and remember, you’re the ones who established your company culture. While your unique team will shape this culture as you make space for every voice at the table, you know the beginning bones that are vital to keep your vision on track.* Know your un-negotiable, from simple operations – like the format your team provides weekly reports – to leading, professional development goals or communication strategies. From the interview stage, your internal community needs to understand the details of their commitment so there is no frustration three months in – you are responsible for laying these desires out.


C. Create a space for vulnerability to fuel education. Cultivating a space for vulnerability amidst education. 2020 has taught us a lot of things, and this is one of the places I hope this year is shifting our way of work. Leaders, I’m looking at you. Your company / organization is made of human beings. Human beings are filled with error and unspoken expectations created from years of unconscious biases. What are you doing to create a safe space where people can attempt, fail, and try again as they work towards goals and new ways of thinking? How are you growing your ability to handle conflict so that your company culture is filled with radical honesty that gives way to understanding your team’s challenges amidst growth? You are holding a vision that your team is enthusiastic about, but you are the ones with the map to make the community successful. They are looking at you to set an example of consistent un-knowing and re-learning, you are guiding people on a path that empowers them to be better and work towards a common goal. You are asking people to follow you, to set down what they’ve previously understood and reshape their ideologies and direction. That doesn’t come with just pointing out the areas people need to support your clients, this comes with deep work to ensure every individual is on board and the group is walking at the same pace to the same place.