I recently had a manager share with me that how he shows up at work with his team is dramatically different than how he shows up at home or with friends. At home and with friends he feels a sense of ease and confidence. At work, he’s worried about being judged and hesitates to speak up.
And I told him –yes, you are being judged, all the time. And it doesn’t matter.
I shared with him that I’m fully aware that when I get on stage to present at a national conference, there’s thousands of eyes evaluating my body, my age and my every wardrobe choice. Some hate my choice, others love it. Some hate my initial high energy hello, others respond with a vigorous hello back.
The default mode of our society is to evaluate, compare and judge. And it doesn’t matter.
Because five minutes into my speech, no one cares anymore about what I’m wearing or what I look like. Now they’re listening to what I’m generating with them as a community who cares about their team. They’re engaged and present to the possibility of what they could create in their workplace culture. And it’s there in that moment that we actually connect and relate as human beings dedicated to making a real deal difference. Grace shows up. Love shows up. Commitment shows up.
Think about those amazing motivational speakers who experienced an event that left their body distinct from the average person. When in an audience, we’re actually given permission to stare – to really take in the physical impact said event had on this person. We make assumptions, we compare, we evaluate, we wonder. By the end of their presentation we’re more present to their powerful message of resiliency than their physicality.
Evaluation, comparison and judgement are temporary. They only persist in your experience if you choose to get stuck in your head about what you think other people are thinking about you –by the way they’re rarely thinking what you think they’re thinking.
Get really present to what you’re committed to – and in this empowering context you won’t hide or pretend. You won’t allow yourself to be made small by temporary baseless assumptions. You’ll stand in your commitment and share yourself.
At the end of the day that’s all there really is to do. Regardless of if they hate on your shoes or think something you said was silly – share anyway.
PS – If you’re still hesitating make sure to check out my 3 Favorite Finds below…
Team Building Exercise:
In the world of sharing yourself – and learning about your team – try putting on a monthly “Show & Tell.” This can be created in a variety of ways. If you’re looking to deepen interdependency awareness and have different departments understand what other departments do, it could be a simple sharing of “Here’s what a day in the life of the warehouse looks like.” Or it could be a sharing of successes and struggles of that department.
Or it could be more personal and playful – share your favorite recipe of your grandmother, your favorite memory from childhood, a personal project you’re working on, a hobby/skill/talent you have or the why behind a treasured possession. You could even follow a TED Talks format or an Ignite format. Or just keep it really simple with a round robin approach – topic pre-provided.