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Why are you feeling guilty?

This week, my client Julia articulated a perspective that I hear a lot.

She said, “As a leader, I have a lot of guilt. I feel like I should be spending more time with my team than I typically do.”

Guilt is a tricky emotion.

But it is important that you don’t let your guilt erode your confidence.

Rather, notice the guilty feeling and address it.

Take a minute to assess what you are feeling guilty about.

For example, do you feel guilty that you should be:

  • Coaching your team more
  • Giving a team member constructive feedback (rather than avoiding it)
  • Providing more positive feedback
  • Dealing with that relationship that isn’t working
  • Feeling more enthusiastic about your hybrid team

Once you identify what you “should” be doing differently, then you need stop using the word “should” and make a decision on how you will move forward effectively.

You can make a decision using these three questions:

  • What will I do differently right now?
  • What will I not do differently right now?
  • What will I not do right now…but will schedule for later?

Let’s adapt these three questions to the example of avoiding constructive feedback.

  • I will give the constructive feedback today.
  • I will not give the constructive feedback because I have decided it is not important (then you have to let it go!)
  • I won’t give the feedback right now but I have put it in my calendar to do so on Tuesday during my one-on-one meeting with my team member.

So, when you start “should-ing” and feeling guilt, just pause for a moment.

Ask yourself, “What am I feeling guilty about right now?”

Be self-reflective. This is a sign of great leadership.

Then make a decision and take just one step towards that decision.

I promise, you’ll feel much better…and much less guilty!

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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