Personally, I think I’m good at playing the support role. I have played this role many times as a board member, volunteer, and also as staff. I think I’m good at working for myself. I like the autonomy – no one to answer to except me. But working in circle with others is neither of these and a little of both with some other pieces added in. But more than those elements, it is a practice of mindfulness. Because that’s what’s required to be able to see myself – my strengths and my weaknesses. And, ugh… the hard part: be able to communicate them.
I often say when teaching mindfulness that it’s probably most needed for the things we do habitually, but it’s also most difficult to apply in those situations. It helps to explore mindfulness in situations that we aren’t fully comfortable in. Areas where we don’t have it all figured out. Good thing shared leadership is not something we are accustomed to. Practicing shared leadership requires one to assess how they show up, how they hold relationships, and what accountability means.
I am learning to take the lead when it is called for and how to hold that responsibility. Learning how to communicate my needs. Still have lots of work there. Learning how to not just support the work from the background or to go off on my own and get it done, but to show up vulnerable and mindful of my shortcomings with a team that supports me more than I can express here.