Leading through Storms with Vulnerability & Empathy
April 28, 2020
Wonder with me for a moment…
What do you think was running through the disciples’ minds when Jesus said to them, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” I mean when I’m scared the last thing I want to hear is someone saying back to me, “Why are you afraid?”
Cause I am, Jesus! Help me! (Hear the sarcasm in my voice, ok?)
Then again, if I change the tone Jesus speaks to the disciples from stern and condescending to caring and compassionate, everything changes, doesn’t it?
For some reason, I always read that passage as Jesus a bit irritated with the disciples. I mean, he was asleep. And if you wake me up because you’re afraid, what’s running through my mind is, “C’mon guys, aren’t you adults?” Thank goodness I’m not Jesus!
Empathy or Empathy Fail?
So you tell me, did Jesus empathize with the disciples or was it a Jesus size #EmpathyFail?
As you listen to Episode 117, you’ll hear us share about how we’re rumbling with vulnerability and practicing empathy during this pandemic. Do we always get it right? No way! Are we trying? You bet!
And guess what? So are you.
The very nature of a crisis, a pandemic, and living under emergency orders by the State Director of Health, or Governor (depending on where you live) is that you’re feeling vulnerable. But to lead through this storm with courage, it’s exactly what you need to do.
You need to feel. You need to name the emotions and create the space for others to step into naming what they are feeling. (Notice I didn’t say you want to. There’s a difference between needing and wanting, right?)
How are you feeling?
Before you go any farther, name the two emotions you’re feeling right now.
As I write this, it’s late, and I’m feeling tired and accomplished. It’s been a busy day. How about you?
Jesus came to the disciples because they named their fear. He meets you right where you are, too.
I was on a Zoom call with Brene Brown at the end of last week (there’s something I NEVER thought I’d say!) and she reminded us that most adults can only name three emotions: mad-sad-glad. As leaders, we need to help the people we lead to become fluent in the language of emotion. It wasn’t a part of any school or life curriculum for a large majority of us.
So if it’s hard, there’s a good reason. You’re learning to name your emotions. The more fluent you become in the language of emotions, the better you’ll be at coming alongside others, leading with courage, and inviting them to rumble with vulnerability.
I invite you to join me for what I’ve entitled “Empathy Week”
- Click play above and listen to Episode 117
- Download the list of core emotions
- Join Sara on Facebook every morning at 8 am this week. I’m sharing a devotion on one of the skills that make up empathy each day.