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  • Writer's pictureShandy Welch

Care Deeply by Acting NOW!

For those who know me personally, you know my deep commitment to animals.  

With this passion comes the ability to see and act on what others might miss.  

-A slight limp in the right back leg

-A small twitch of the left ear

-The coat is coming in with a bit more curl than last spring.  

These subtleties that most would overlook seem obvious to the most attuned.   We don’t hesitate to investigate, diagnose, and treat proactively.  We care so much that we lose sleep until our health is restored. I commit to this because I care deeply about the health and well-being of my animals.  Seems pretty obvious, right?

Yet, when it comes to problems at work or with our team, many do the opposite.  While we care just as deeply, we find every reason to avoid the elephant, hoping that normalcy will be restored.  Logically, we know that is crazy, yet, time and time again, we repeat ourselves.

We can’t fain ignorance, the writing is on the wall.  We silently negotiate with ourselves, and any positive xyz is overemphasized to mitigate the need for discussion.  

We worry we would be “overreacting” or making a big deal of a small thing… therefore we avoid it and hope it gets better with time.  If this was your child, would you ignore the slight redness in their eye or how they limped slightly on the soccer field?  Most likely not.  So why ignore these subtle signs with your team?

I will be honest with you: there is one of two things at play:

  • You have made the situation about YOU rather than choosing to invest in another’s or,

  • You don’t know HOW to have this discussion while preserving the relationship.

With animals or children, intervening proactively is seen as a selfless act of caring.  Although, in relationships, we often think of ourselves first.  “What will they think of me if I mention that?”  “Will they think I am overreacting?  “Will they think I am just competitive?”  The intention of the act morphs into self-preservation or protection.

While this is an understandable rationale, it will never prove worthy.  Resentment and anger build, and small, unbridled acts become the foundation for your relationships and company.  

Subtle tension permeates, and trust disintegrates.

It is not too late to release yourself from this cycle and inspire others to do the same.  Change will require intentionality, mindfulness, and skill, but I have no doubt you are up for the challenge and are well aware of the impact you can have.

“Like attracts like.” Your courageous stance and honest conversations will inspire others to do the same and build trust and loyalty.  

Not everyone will always like what you are saying, but the goal is not to be liked, it is to be thoughtful, open, honest, and kind.  Create clarity with your words and thoughts.  Focus on the process, not the person, and stay curious about what you may not know.

This practice gets easier with time; stay consistent and keep the focus on elevating others.

My Challenge to You:

  • Quietly assess your relationships and what elements bring tension.  Without judgment, excuses, or explanation, admit honesty to yourself.  Become aware and connect to the underlying fear.

  • If your values and actions are out of alignment, can you identify one small act of communication that might bring you closer to wholeness?

  • How often is the need to “be liked” impeding your ability to be honest?  Play with this idea and feeling, by strengthening your self-worth, you will begin to loosen the grip and energy you give to what others may think.

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