Creating space below the bar…a necessary leadership “evil”
By Jennifer Scarponi, RN, BSN, AADP
A friend of mine came to my office today for a session to work on her business. We had 2 hours, she was 40 minutes late. When she got here she was harried, stressed, completely pressurized. When I asked her why she was so late (my irritated presence and energy doing nothing to help her), she burst into tears.
“I’m doing so much, for so many, you have no idea how much it took me to take 2 hours out for myself today. And I couldn’t even do that. I have no space for failure. My whole life has to be above the bar – for everyone. Every minute. Every day. I have to live above the bar. I was hoping on my way over here that you would let me be below the bar today. I was hoping you might hold space for me.”
Her last two sentences totalled me. Gulp. Shiver. Tears in the back of my eyes. Paradigm shift. Complete compassion. Within a second, my irritation turned to jelly as compassion (battling with a bit of shame for being such an energetic jerk) took over. All in a second.