You really can't screw it upNov 28, 2023
I'm going to start with a story that actually happened this past week. I work at a hospital in Medford, Oregon and it is going through some serious financial challenges.
We got a new CEO in, and he is saying everything's on the table for cuts and there have been layoffs. And… my coworkers are freaking out.
Many of them are younger than I am and haven't been through something like this before. Several supervisors called a meeting to update the staff on where things are at. I spoke to one of the supervisors after the meeting and asked her, “How's it going? That must've been quite a week for you.”
She confided, “I'm worried that I didn't say the right stuff and I can't believe the other supervisor said what she did.” As I listened, it came to me very clearly that none of that mattered, and I shared this with her.
When she asked why this is, I responded with, “Because they can tell how much you care. They can tell how much you're fighting for and advocating for them. And how transparent and honest you're being. They sense that.”
I even said to her, "It's almost like you can't really screw this up as long as you continue caring and being yourself. Even if you do say the wrong thing, it’s not going to upset the apple cart, because they're still going to sense that you care, you’re working on their behalf, and you have their back.”
So what is this quality of the supervisor? You could say it's her character. Or perhaps it's her presence. Or maybe the energy that she brings. You could say it's her medicine. Whatever it is, it's more about who and how she is and less about her saying the right thing. It doesn't have to be perfect- just human.
You can be nervous. We don't care about that. We want to know that you care about us, have our back, and are being straight with us. We want to know that you're doing everything you can to be there for us. That's what we really care about.
I suggest that this may also be true in your life with the people around you: your kids, family, friends, significant others, employees, or coworkers. That's likely what they care about too. We worry about saying just the right thing, but all we really need to do is show up, care, and be true to who we are.
If you are yourself, care, and say what comes to you, people will get what they need from you. They will feel your love and support, and that's what they're really after.
I might've gotten more out of it than the supervisor did because I realized when I worry about saying the right thing, the stuff that I say doesn't matter doesn’t matter as much as I think. The feeling for me was, “What a relief. We can't really screw it up. We just have to be ourselves.”
If you stay true to yourself, everything takes care of itself. Even if people get upset with you or they get their feelings hurt. Even if they get mad at you, feel like you betrayed them, or let them down, it all works out. Maybe that's what they needed to experience.
People will get what they need from you and who you are. And your medicine and love will shine through and touch them in the way that it needs to. Perhaps in a way, you can't even imagine.