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  • Feb24Fri

    What am I doing to better myself?

    February 24, 2023

    What am I doing to better myself?

     I don’t think you can watch a movie like Women Talking, read a book The Six Working Genius, hear these heart-breaking case studies without doing some navel gazing and reflecting on your own leadership style. I deeply desire to be a leader that is healthy and safe, that uses both positional power and personal power for good.

    There are power differentials in all areas of our lives. Power in the right hands can transform culture, influence good, facilitate growth, and inspire others to greatness. Power in the wrong hands can belittle, silence, isolate, demean, and cause harm, injury and abuse. 

    But how do we assess whether we are using our power to influence good or cause harm?

    According to Dr. Ben Benjamin there are natural power differentials in many (but not all) relationships, including those between parent and child, teacher and student, employer and employee, and, of course, health care practitioner and clients. Parents, teachers, employers, clergy and health care practitioners have the more powerful positions. They are the authority figures whose actions, by virtue of their roles, directly affect the well-being of the other. The child, student, employee, congregant and client are in the more vulnerable position. In theory and ethical practice, the power differential exists for the purpose of bringing benefit to these more vulnerable individuals; that is, the child's well-being should be enhanced by a parent's care, the employee should benefit from the employer's management, and so on.

    Cedar Barstow, states, “Because the power differential is role-dependent, it is easy to over-identify with (or get inflated by) this increased or enhanced power. However, it is just as easy to misuse this increased power by under-identifying with it. The central idea here is the necessity to understand and own your role power so that you can be conscious and informed.”

    Here are ten questions to ask yourself as a leader?

    1. 1. How much empathetic listening do I practice on a regular basis?
    2. 2. What is my common response when individuals raise concerns or bring ideas to the table?
    3. 3. What do I do with those concerns?
    4. 4. What is my level of willingness to change?
    5. 5. Who holds me accountable for my actions?
    6. 6. Who is coaching me to be a better leader?
    7. 7. What do I do with the feedback and coaching I receive?
    8. 8. Who is seeking me out as a mentor?
    9. 9. Do others feel safe around me?
    10. 10. What am I doing to grow as a leader?
    11. These are questions I ask myself often. I deeply desire to create a culture and be part of a community where those in leadership (including myself) role model excellence, integrity, goodness, and kindness while not being taken advantage of by others. I want to be part of the solution, not the problem as to how to address these harmful behaviours early in one’s appointment. I want to lead while also being a servant.  I desire to fulfil our vision and mission without causing emotional, psychological or spiritual harm. I am committed to holding team members accountable for their actions and outcomes, while raising a generation of leaders that are better versions than myself.

    12. Today, I want to be a better version of myself. Even in my 60’s I want to continue to grow and learn and be a safe person.

    13. How about you? Change starts with us …. how safe are you?

    14. What gives me hope?

    15. I don’t have to do this alone!  Whether we are victims of abuse, narcissistic leadership, domestic violence, bullying, spiritual abuse, there are excellent resources, training, friends, community agencies and faith that are available to plant seeds of hope in our lives. Lent is a time of waiting and anticipation. Waiting and hope brings healing. We don’t have to wait in silence. We don’t have to wait alone! I don’t do it alone, and I encourage you not to do it alone … if you have lost your hope, we encourage you to lean into this season and reach out for help.

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