I hear this sentence a lot during the leadership work I do with people. Many people, including myself, struggle with this.
When I was younger I felt I had to fight for space, to get a word in, to be listened to and acknowledged for what I had to say. I can remember overruling myself and puffing myself up to be bigger than I was, like you see roosters do. I did not know any other way. I had not seen other ways except being fierce and loud (or they had not registered). I remember many times when the louder I got the less people listened to me, or wanted to listen to me. And that was painful. Because underneath that I just wanted my voice to be heard.
I have learned along the way that there is tremendous power in tuning it down. Saying less, being quiet, and sharing when I am ready. That the real power, and the real space to find is within. Not in puffing up like a rooster, but in plucking the chicken, finding the layers that have me pose to be received a certain way, and drop those, feather by feather.
The truth is; you can never influence how people receive you. A big part of that is determined by how they are doing and what is running them.
What you can do is take up your internal space. Look at all the strategies you have employed to be heard. Maybe you are the ‘rooster’ type, maybe you are the ‘sparkly’ type, or the ‘I’ll wait till they come get me’ type. We all have our ways.
And the more you can see, acknowledge and include them, the less you have to shout, sparkle or hide. The more you can just show who you truly are.
That is leadership.
That unpeeling, or plucking, takes time. And it goes so much faster when you have others to reflect your ways to scramble for space back to you. To hold you in a positive regard, while you gain awareness on your strategies and slowly can let some of those feathers go.
The struggle will slowly go with that. The more you calm down in yourself and find your inner space, the less you have to fight for it externally.
My Find Your Flavour – Circling Leadership Training is a space to practise that awareness and find that home in yourself. Together with a phenomenal group of human beings who are just as willing as you to dive in and explore they unique way of being, and their unique way of leadership.
If you struggle with taking up space and are ready to unpack why that is, have a look at this training. Through the practice of leading Circling we will explore our strategies together, in service of more rounded leadership, less struggle and more ease.
We start this next round in August, at 1,5 metres distance. One thing I realised more deeply this weekend is that that space is going to be around for a while.
If this is calling you, reach out. I’d love to have a chat about why this is tickling you. And I’d love to explore together if this training is a match for you.