You Cried WHEN? Yup, on Camera - During an Interview.
I want to talk to you about crying. Crying, you say, why would you want to talk about crying?
Now many of you are thinking: usually we see you and you're in a good mood - you're laughing, you're smiling.
And that's true. That is the state that I would rather be in. But, as you know, we're all complex human beings and crying is one of the emotions that we go through.
The other morning, l was doing a Zoom interview with a new connection, Fiona Byrne Ryan and she brought up some hard questions. You see, she talks about aging and how to deal with aging parents.
Some of you know that I lost my mom about a year and a half ago and it was an unbelievably hard experience.
This morning, as Fiona was asking me questions about my experience I broke down in tears. I absolutely broke down in tears.
That's right, I broke down on camera during an interview with a brand new connection.
Embarrassing? A little
Did I fee supported? Absolutely!
I thought that enough time had past that I could share my story with a bit of detachment. WRONG! Que the waterworks.
Fiona was so incredibly gracious. Because I was having trouble stopping the tears, we stopped our interview so I could take a moment. During that time she made sure I was ok and shared a personal experience of her own.
It was a beautiful show of support and leadership.
This begs the question: is breaking down in tears during work ok? Does it take a toll on your image and your personal brand?
I'm going to say, yes, it's ok and no, it shouldn't take a toll. It shows you as vulnerable and human.
Now of course there's a time and place for everything, but we have to be honest with who we are, how we feel, what our emotions are, and how we deal with those things. And sometimes crying just happens.
Have you broken down and cried in a work situation? How did you handle it?
Was the person on the other end accepting of the emotion or were you made to feel embarrassed and out of line?
As a leader, you have a choice on when it comes to both sides of the crying equation: show empathy and support or create further stress and embarrassment.
As a leader you also have the choice to show your own emotions or stay one dimensional.
Our current work/life environment comes with lots of stressors and the lines are heavily blurred between home and work. The lack of delineation often means emotions can run high and responses to situations may be different from how we would have responded a year ago.
We need to give ourselves and those around us a bit of grace and space when it comes to emotions, responses and reactions.
I created the following video shortly after my interview with Fiona. Check out my thoughts about what happened:
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