I learned how to choose how I show up!
This story was submitted anonymously to the How We Show Up collection as part of the July SEEQ sessions.
About 11 years ago in my career (I have a total of 20 years), I worked for a manager that I would describe as difficult, sometime a jerk, but a man that I came to respect deeply. I would describe the 4 years that I worked under him to be the most rewarding professionally. This guy is a typical New Yorker from Brooklyn and had a deep loud resounding voice which would scare me. I can say I probably “faked” it for the first 6-8 months because I knew nothing about this part of the company – including new people, teams l, language, terms, and how all the parts connected to the business. The newness and just fear of messing up was exciting and yet daunting on certain days. It was a new environment to me. I most likely faked it as I learned my job and responsibilities. But it was through my manager’s sharing of his own personal experiences and stories, that I gained a greater appreciation for where he was coming from and as a result, a greater confidence for myself. When I understood him better, it allowed me to open up and withhold less in my head and heart. He gave me opportunities to work on different assignments and would always be a great thinker with me as I worked on different projects. It was through this trial and error that we moved to a better place in this working relationship. I felt I was my best and authentic self in how I showed up through the way I approached my work, work outcomes, and my relationships at work and outside of work. I learned though this experience humility, strength, resilience in so many ways that shaped my character. I am not my manager nor do I have his style. But I learned about who I am and who I can become. It’s always my choice in how I show up. I have to say though, this manager is one of the most memorable. I have always gravitated towards people that I see that are their most authentic selves because it makes it easier to be me. But I realized that takes time and energy to discover others people’s stories. If you have someone who is willing to share there’s and willing to listen – that is the magic and spark for a great dialogues.