Right now I’m going for daily walks. I mix it up. Sometimes I turn right. Sometimes it’s left. And yesterday I had the pleasure of my first Autumn (Fall) leaf crunch. I love that sound. It takes me straight back to the innocence of childhood.
As I was happily reminiscing, there it was yet again. Footpath rage. I could feel it rising as, once again, I had to step aside while a fellow walker seemed oblivious to the physical distancing rule.
Normally, I don’t say anything. But I have been known to scowl. Not too proud of that. I’m trying to lead by example. So, sometimes I look at them directly, to catch their eye and smile. I might even say hello.
I remind myself, we’re all in this together. They might have stepped out for respite from something particularly difficult at home. Maybe they just lost their job.
And just like that, by suspending judgment and erring on the side of generosity, I help myself in the process. I avoid the angry brain-chatter that gets me nowhere. I notice the short shallow breaths returning to a slower, deeper rhythm. And with that, I’m able to settle myself back down quickly and continue to enjoy the moment.
My latest footpath rage outcome? Well, I smiled and said hello. They scowled back. Oh well. Guess they were having a very bad day.
This COVID-19 crisis reminds us all of how vulnerable we are. But it can’t take away how respond. And how we respond is always an opportunity to lead by example.
PS. If your team would benefit from (virtually) learning the psychology behind leading when it’s business far from usual, contact me. My clients have found it helpful, so I thought you might too.
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