The expectation of having answers

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JJ Parker  0:02  
So one thing I've been thinking about is how people are asking for help from their teams. Yeah. And I don't mean like, delegation help, like, hey, I need help with this paperwork or whatever. But what I mean is like, how are they asking for, like emotional help? And like leadership help? Yeah. And like strategic help, especially like, given that everything have been like, super chaotic.

Melissa Albers  0:27  
Yeah, I really like your question. And I think it's a really good one, especially right now. Because I think as leaders, we always feel like this ultra responsibility to be the person who has the story, be the person to be in front of everybody else, and working really hard to always appear that way, even when you don't really know. Yeah, right.

JJ Parker  0:46  
Like, oh, that guy makes the big bucks. Yeah. What's your answer? Yeah.

Melissa Albers  0:50  
And I think things are shifting so much right now. And I think that this whole 2021 has pushed us to into a place where we're really having to evaluate our own thoughts and feelings as humans, not just as leaders. Yeah. And I've noticed a whole bunch of chaos. In even in my coaching conversations about people feeling sort of lost.

JJ Parker  1:13  
Yeah. So like, if if all eyes are on you as a leader, and you don't really have the answer, like, a couple things tend to happen, right? Like you sort of like by are just starting to lie, right? Like, oh, yeah, no, everything's okay. Yeah, got it. Whatever. Yeah, um, you might just become reclusive. Yeah, right. Like, just hiding. You're, like I'm working out. Or, like, you actually might become, like, a little bit. emotionally unstable. Yes. I mean, like, that's the truth. Like, I've seen people sort of unravel. Yeah, because they just don't know what to do.

Melissa Albers  1:52  
Yeah. And I think too, that the key in this conversation is not leaders like, Okay, let me delegate this and check in with you know, it's really not that it's the deep seated feelings that people are having about being in these roles, and the and the level of responsibility and obligation that they're putting on themselves. Yeah. To be a certain way.

JJ Parker  2:15  
Yeah. So back to my original thinking, how can we ask, you know, given, given the way we're feeling as leaders, like, all eyes on us, we're like, the one to fix all the problems, like, how do we actually go back to our team and say, Hey, you know, what, you guys, I need help trying to figure out, figure our way through this, because I really don't know. And I'm super worried about it. And I'm scared and like, so how are we going to engage the rest of the team? Yeah, without feeling like, we're losing face? Or we're not weak being weak? Yeah.

Melissa Albers  2:46  
Or we're no longer in charge. Like, we don't know how to do that, anyway. Yeah. You know, and I think the first part is like, owning the fact that you feel unequipped. This is not what you're saying, or acting like on the outside, this is what you're saying yourself in the mirror before you even leave your house. Right? Or before you get on your zoom call. It's just being okay. With being okay. And not fabulous. is being okay with that. First of all, and I I feel like and I'd really like your thoughts on that to like what you think but I for me, it's about owning my own feelings about it first, and then having the courage to say what they are to other people.

JJ Parker  3:28  
Yeah. Well, like, sometimes definitely asking for help, especially. You know, for me, who tends to like, maybe be able to pull a lot together himself, right? Like, a very much like, oh, what are the problems? let me dive in and fix them all real quick. Like, I end up in insane things like me working crazy hours, or doing really extreme behaviors that generally are not that helpful. Yeah. And my observation about that stuff is it actually pushes my team away, even though what I'm trying to do is save the day and bring them in close and bring them in, what is actually doing is driving them away. Cuz they're like, well, Jason's not even letting us help him. Yeah, he's trying to do all this heroics, like, yeah, and so really, asking the team for help, is key to actually making a healthier team,

Melissa Albers  4:25  
right. And I think like some specific language to that might be helpful is like, I really would like some thinking partners here. I have an idea of the direction but I would really like to check in with you guys, from your guts, not your heads even but like I would really like to have this connection with you. Just to get your thoughts. I really need some thinking partners, and being willing to be authentic and vulnerable. Yeah. And asking those things I think is does so much for your leadership

JJ Parker  4:54  
and the vulnerable part. Also, with bringing the team in is is like the emotional part. Yes. I To help processing through this situation, you know, like, even for us, and we're in downtown Minneapolis, we had a tragic event over the summer. But George Floyd, right. And like, I just didn't have it. Like I was doing emotional. Yeah. Right. And I just needed you guys. I just need help getting through this bit, honestly, like in my life, yeah. Like, and how are we going to move forward? Yeah. And so bringing the connecting with your colleagues and your team in that way is really important. Yeah.

Melissa Albers  5:33  
And I think authenticity is honestly the key to things and it makes you a better leader. People want to follow authentic people, people feel like they want to come in closer to people that are authentic. And when we fake it, or try to be overly positive, it pushes people away. So I think the first thing is really just being open and honest with yourself, and then coming to a way that you can sort of describe those feelings to your team and ask for their support and help.

JJ Parker  6:00  
Yeah. And then the last part is like, the strategy part does a little bit more nuts and bolts, right? Yeah. But really, like, if everyone's looking for you, at you for a plan, and you don't have a plan. If you don't have a plan, and I end up figuring it out. Yeah. Because we're all you know, most of us for 2020. We're in uncharted waters. We have no idea. Exactly. We're unchartered waters. We lost the map.

Melissa Albers  6:24  
Yeah, exactly.

JJ Parker  6:27  
So pulling more people in and sometimes, for me, that even meant not even my direct leadership team. I meant like other people than just saying, Hey, I'm not actually sure where we should go. Do you have any ideas?

Melissa Albers  6:40  
Yeah, right. And you know what, I did the same thing in my role. I started looking for new coaches, I started looking for different mentors. And I went back to mentors that I had a relationship with for a particular thing. But now in this new way, I just wanted to get their perspective. Yeah. So it's really a good idea to bring people in with you.