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Dare to Lead
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Part One, Section Four: Shame and Empathy

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message 1: by Nicki (new) - added it

Nicki Boyle | 100 comments Mod
And we're back. After a little respite from our collaborative reflection, let's get back together.

Please choose a question or two or three or four and share your thinking. Don't forget to shower your colleagues with some responses. After all, we have learned the power of, "Hey, I know how that feels..." and "I hear you..."

Q1: What does shame mean to you? How does it feel? What does it look like?
Q2: Did you see all the ways shame can 'show up' in our organizations? What do you think? Have you seen it? Have you experienced it? Have you felt it? What do you think?
Q3: If you shared something personal in a way that made you feel vulnerable, what would your audience do, say, and show to make you feel supported?
Q4: Brene says, "Empathy is the most powerful connecting and trust building tool that we have..." What do you think?


message 2: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 9 comments 1. My definition of shame has changed after reading this section. Shame is feeling like you are not good enough and when you let that feeling turn into self-talking poorly to yourself! I think shame makes you feel like you can't make the next step, you hesitate and it may look like you withdrawing from others.
2. I feel like I have seen some of the ways that shame can show up at work... well at work! I feel that the biggest one that I have seen is gossiping. I resinated with the quote: "What's trickier is that in most cases, shame is hidden behind the walls of the organization. It's not dormant- it's slowly eating away at innovation, trust, connection, and culture- but it's tougher to spot."
3. I tend to not share personal things with many people- I'm not sure why, but I feel that I tend to keep those things to myself. The people who make me feel supported listen to what I'm saying, they valid how I am feeling, and they give me time to process through what I'm feeling.
4. I think that empathy is really about listening to the other person and giving them the time & space that they may need. I liked Brene's example of when she missed her daughter's game. The example of how her friend showed empathy helped me understand the difference between empathy & sympathy much clearer.


message 3: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Blackburn | 6 comments Shame is a chameleon often times in the way that it blends in and can take various shapes in our lives. We try to avoid it and bury it away and it only leads to more pain in the long run. The passage on page 27 with the correlation of the feelings of pain and rejection that are associated with shame being tied to real physical shame are eye opening.

Q1) Shame in my life has always taken the shape of negative self talk. This has been a struggle as far back as I can remember. Especially in times of struggle, I look at all of the ways I could have handled situations differently. The best anecdote I have found to shame is someone you trust to speak truth into that space. I can beat myself down and continue for days unless I get the perspective of someone who can see the situation from an honest lens.

Q4) There are few truer statements. True empathy breaks down barriers we have in our society. It's easy to look at situations and think people put themselves into the situation, or look from afar and think how bad the events they are dealing with must feel. We rarely sit in the dirt with them and let it engross us as well. I sometimes wonder how I can hear something so sad and five minutes later enjoy a snack or check my social media feed. If I chose empathy, I would sit and listen and be part of their struggle to give them an extra crutch in the moment. We sometimes forget the power of helping others by just being there in the moment. I can grow and continue to lean into others when developing empathy.


message 4: by Nicki (new) - added it

Nicki Boyle | 100 comments Mod
Nicole wrote: "1. My definition of shame has changed after reading this section. Shame is feeling like you are not good enough and when you let that feeling turn into self-talking poorly to yourself! I think sham..."

Thank you for your thoughtful responses, Nicole. My thoughts on shame are evolving too, and really opening my eyes to why and how my initial thinking or feeling could be a result of shame in one of its many forms...lots to think about.

Gossip is a scary monster that can cause a lot of destruction. So what do we do about it?


message 5: by Nicki (new) - added it

Nicki Boyle | 100 comments Mod
Stephen wrote: "Shame is a chameleon often times in the way that it blends in and can take various shapes in our lives. We try to avoid it and bury it away and it only leads to more pain in the long run. The passa..."
I totally get what you're saying about the negative self talk. Sometimes I get so fixated on the one thing that went wrong, I don't even celebrate the successes. Cornelius Minor said something along the lines of, "There can be 5,000 things done right, and the one thing done wrong is what sticks." That 'stuck' with me. I'm going to try to focus on the positive and the success and I challenge you to do the same. "Hey self, dang fine job today."


message 6: by Rob (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob | 3 comments Brene says, "Empathy is the most powerful connecting and trust building tool that we have..." What do you think? The experience of understanding another person's thoughts, feelings, and condition from his or her point of view, rather than from one's own. And isn't that the truth when you are dealing with the daily stress of our students. Without this how does an educator do the very best for their students? But empathy comes with a cost, being able to have empathy and separate it from our own lives is paramount for self-care. Educators tend to have empathy that ends up burning us out it is important to not only have empathy but to understand that without self-care we are of no use to the students that we serve.


message 7: by Nicki (new) - added it

Nicki Boyle | 100 comments Mod
Rob wrote: "Brene says, "Empathy is the most powerful connecting and trust building tool that we have..." What do you think? The experience of understanding another person's thoughts, feelings, and condition f..."

Wow! Sometimes it feels impossible to NOT carry the weight of our students' lives within our own. But you're right...in order to be who we need to be for all of these students that we care about so much, we have to take care of ourselves.


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