Transforming Talent Insights

By Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant)

TTI - Issue #55: Courage FOR and WITH One Another





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Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant)
Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant)
Transformation Happens when we show up with an empathic heart - and follow through with empathic actions. In this edition, I am going to be diving into something that, in my opinion, does not get talked about enough: showing courageous support towards one another at work.
Being willing to show courageous support is a critical element in Transforming Talent - and it starts with each one of us. Transformation can only happen if we give ourselves the grace and space to operate from a place of empathy and connection - rather than setting ourselves apart, because we don’t take the time to hit “⏸” in the moments that matter.
This edition includes a couple of reflection questions and inspirations as you think through what the Insights mean to you, something you are being brave about, be it at work or in your personal life. I would love to hear your reflections and inspirations - as this is how we Transform Talent.

♥️ How do we show up and show courage FOR and WITH one another?
You are watching, you are listening, there is a rumble in your heart that pushes at your brain, and you feel yourself making a decision, a strong impulse to step outside of the comfort and silent zone to take a position…
  • To support someone openly,
  • To defend someone who is being unfairly treated,
  • To clear out barriers, unlock doors for others, and commit to take the heat because it is the right thing to do.
You decide in that rumble to act out compassion and a generous heart. You decide to show up for others, at work, in your broader community, at the dinner table, in a chat thread, in a volunteer group, at a professional mixer, in the House.
In the moments that matter how courageous are we?
Some real life examples…
♥️ How do we show up in situations when we see other team members being used as a dumping ground of toxic frustration by a colleague? Do we laugh nervously or do we speak up in support of the person being railed upon?
♥️ When someone is going through a very tough family time and needs to put their family first, do we ask for the reports to be submitted before they go to deal with their family emergency, or do we truly offer up our support and just let them go be where they need to be?
♥️ When a team member makes an alternative proposal, which the majority of the team is excited about but is met with below-the-belt personal backlash from a stakeholder, do we address it or pretend it didn’t happen?
♥️ If someone goes out on medical leave, do we question their loyalty to the organization, and if they truly want to come back, or do we help set up reintegration?
… I am sure you can come up with a bunch more where situative, transactional reactions ala “tick off and move on”, rather than empathetic responses that would actually show true support and caring. Situations in which we see and experience micro and, heck, macro aggressions happening to others around us and… to ourselves.
How do we feel in the moments that matter when the text chains stay silent? When everyone is looking to one other in disbelief, yet no throat is cleared to speak support?
It sucks.
There are always reasons why folks do not speak up and out: “not my monkey, not my circus”, “its the policy”, “what if he turns his vitriol on me?”, “can I really change the narrative?” “Someone in a higher position needs to speak up”, “if I speak up I may make myself vulnerable”
Let me say it here and now: it truly does matter.
How we respond with empathy and strength in the small moments that matter make a considerable difference in the willingness and courage to stand strong in one’s voice - and not feel bereft and alone.
Cordelia Gaffar said it well when she said “When we see each other, we have to come from a place of connection instead of projection.”
Projection begets disconnection, judgement, and ostracization. It begets shrinking inwards, internal resignation (to real resignation), to deterioration of trust and camaraderie. It kills discretionary effort.
♥️ Empathic responses mean pressing a ⏸ button on the hurriedness to actually connect - not project - with the person in front of us. To operate out of that rumble of one’s heart pushing at your brain to step outside of the comfort zone and take a position of courageous support. To not remain silent, when we know that voicing our courageous support could make a critical difference.
Dr. Martin Luther King said it well when he said:
“If the moderates of the white South fail to act now, history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Our generation will have to repent not only for the acts and words of the children of darkness but also for the fears and apathy of the children of light.”
👉 “…The appalling silence of the good people.”
This is the real difference between transactional and transformational: being willing to give the space, grace, and courageous support. In other words, it is:
♥️ How do we show up and show courage FOR and WITH one another?
As truly beautiful things happen when we do.
Transformation Reflection
☝️: When did you show courageous support to a colleague? What was the thing that made you speak up and out?
☝️: What situation sticks in your mind when you received courageous support from a colleague or a boss?
☝️: What situation are you currently facing where you are going to need the courageous support of your colleagues?
  • What are the potential barriers for them giving you their courageous support?
  • What are the potential building blocks for them to be able to give their courageous support?
☝️: As a Leader what is your role for fostering a workplace of courageous support?
Transformation Inspiration
Amanda Gorman: Using your voice is a political choice | TED Talk
Brené with Aiko Bethea on Inclusivity at Work: The Heart of Hard Conversations
Elizabeth Lembke for L&D Cares, Lead for Career Growth
This year has been a series of volunteer work experiments to foster more courage, build confidence while building competence, and empower. It was truly my honor to mastermind and spearhead the incredible collaboratively courageous work with the L&D Cares Career Growth initiatives. Bringing together in a series of #doittolearnit experiments, Learning & Talent professionals, Social Science Researchers, Career Seekers, Recruiters, and HR Tech vendors together to workshop around: how to co-create a better path forward in career development - particularly in the #middleofstrangeness.
Truly we showed how career growth can be exhilarating - not debilitating. Bonus: all of the playlists are live on YouTube!
L&D Cares Career Growth Summit 2.5 In Review and The Learning Continues
L&D Cares Career Growth Summit 2.5 In Review and The Learning Continues
Transformation: Rooted in Courageous Support
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” - my role is to help with your footing: Together we chart the map.
If you are curious about we can collaborate together for you and your organization, I would love to have a virtual coffee with you. Simply pop some time on via:
With that, sending you all of my warmest regards,
Your Chief Talent Navigator Elizabeth Lembke
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Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant)
Elizabeth M. Lembke - Chief Talent Navigator (HR Consultant) @elizabethlembke

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Elizabeth Lembke, Transforming Talent Consulting: and