Last night, there were monsters in our house; a high proportion of them appeared to be in our kids’ room. Perhaps in your house it is different, but the monsters never seem to be friendly in our house. The only thing that keeps the kids safe is Dad sitting or sleeping on the floor. And so I did.
The monsters are often the shadows on the walls slightly moving due to the wind. And yet to the kids, these shadows are unknown, scary, monsters. Each of the children describe them differently to me as they both have vivid, but different imaginations.
Most of us no longer fear monsters and yet, perhaps our ‘monsters’ have simply evolved. Most of us fear the unknown and when we see or hear whispers fear the worst. Sometimes they are full on monsters, other times more small gremlin like monsters.
We see this is periods of change, especially change we did not actively choose. We fear for our jobs, we fear for our reputation. We worry about being good enough, we worry about being able to learn new skills, being able to adapt. We worry about who we are.
This happens every time we introduce new ways of doing things, new technology, new ideas. We see the shadows on the walls move and assume the worst.
We need to expect this as leaders. And while we may know the monsters are not real and only shadows, just like telling our kids that the monsters aren’t real, it doesn’t help telling our teams they have nothing to fear. It doesn’t matter what we know or think, the fear, worry, concern is real to them.
Perhaps we need to figure what the equivalent of sitting on the floor a while with our teams is.