Up until a few years ago, I routinely spent a few weeks each year running communication workshops in London. These were always some of my favourite work trips. After the stimulation in the training rooms, I would retrace my old footsteps or forge new paths through this city I once lived in and would be delighted in unexpected ways.
Like that Sunday I happened upon a massive crowd spanning generations singing and dancing in Hyde Park and without a backward glance, joined them for hours. My kind of Madness. Or the day after, connecting late into the evening with colleagues at this fav restaurant in Borough Market, to then wake up to this view.
Fast forward a few years with WFH being the new normal and trips of this nature seem almost fantasy-like. But the connections remain. Which is how I recently found myself exchanging messages with one of my former colleagues from the said lengthy London dinner.
It went something like this:
Her: "There's something you should know. Something that's had a lasting impact on me. Something that surely began during that dinner. Something that you're almost certainly unaware of."
Me, intrigued: "Do tell!"
Her: "A voice surfaces in my head from time to time and reminds me to trust my instincts and go for what I want especially when I'm scared. It sounds a whole lot like you, Jamaican accent and all! 🌞"
Me, smiling while my soul danced: "How fantastic to know this, thanks! Tell her hi from me! 💃
She was right of course. I had no idea. We're often unaware of the impact we have on others in seemingly ordinary interactions. But impact we do.
What about you?
Who do you think you're impacting now?
What voices could you be playing a part in cultivating?
What does this thought make your soul do?
That is only one side of it though.
The other side is recognising who is impacting us. Who might be shaping the voices in our heads? And deciphering whether these voices are making our souls dance, cause I put to you, they should.
With this insight top of mind, last week while preparing for a Webinar discussing the impact of The Double Bind , I wanted to tap into lessons from successful female leaders to serve up to those souls looking to dance.
Here are two contrasting successful women leaders showcasing that it's not only possible to navigate The Double Bind, but there's no one right way to dance across that tightrope.
Jacinda Ardern: Great example of brilliant leadership while embracing stereotypically female traits like empathy. Watch her describe her leadership style in 2 minutes on the BBC before Covid upended the world and brought her exceptional leadership into the global spotlight.
Kamala Harris: Great example of breaking through barriers while embracing being ambitious and assertive. Watch her hold her ground with Mike Pence in the VP Debate here . Of course there was an almost bigger debate on the merits of her non-verbal communication. I am with this take from the Washington Post.
I 'd love to hear what this brings up for you and in the meantime, do join in ... everybody dance!