Clare Cable discusses resilience, waning energy levels and the importance of taking time to reconnect with yourself by introducing the Capacitar Leadership Dance which is demonstrated by Scotland’s Queen’s Nurses in our latest YouTube video.
Since the beginning of the year, we have been leading through uncertainty and many of us are exhausted. We have perhaps entered a post-adrenaline phase. When the stress subsides (slightly), and our cortisol levels drop, we are left feeling deflated. No matter how hard we work on our resilience, pacing ourselves under pressure, eating healthily and trying to get plenty of sleep and exercise, we are not superhuman. Taking time to regularly decompress is really important but the effectiveness of our usual methods has been tested in these exceptional circumstances. The pace of change required over the last 16 weeks has been immense. With information constantly changing, enacting the best possible decisions has become strenuous. We are all recognising our own fragility.
I have been refreshed and inspired recently by a series of online learning opportunities with Martin Kalungu-Banda hosted by Collective Leadership for Scotland. I had the privilege of getting to know Martin on a Presencing Institute Foundation Programme. Martin and the PI team taught me to listen to my body, and to understand that wisdom does not reside solely in my cerebral cortex. I am not a comfortable mover and remain that awkward person in the corner at a disco. But I ‘trusted the process’ and stepped a long way out of my comfort zone. In that safe space, I started learning how to pay attention to my body, to begin moving by attuning to a different kind of wisdom.
This journey has continued through my introduction to Capacitar International, a global movement dedicated to healing from trauma. Capacitar is the Spanish word for ‘empower’. It is my belief that leadership requires us to work in an embodied way if we are to truly empower others. I now incorporate many of the Capacitar methods into my own wellbeing routine. These practices also form a core part of the Queen’s Nurse development programme with some favourites available on the QNIS Wellbeing page.
In the first Collective Leadership session with Martin Kalungu-Banda, he asked us what leadership qualities we would require during this time of uncertainty. What emerged will be no surprise to you:
Letting go of fear, letting come courage.
Patience. Slowing down.
Being truly present and listening deeply to ourselves and others.
Connecting with wisdom.
Being compassionate to ourselves so we can approach others with that same compassion and kindness.
Recognising our connection as a diverse community of leaders. We are not alone.
The Capacitar Leadership Dance invites up to live these qualities and to remind ourselves of who we are and the things we need. When my energy is waning, I find I turn to the Leadership Dance for exactly this reconnection to myself. I am comforted too by the wider connection to a global movement of others doing their best through uncertainty.
From Dumfriesshire to the Highlands and Islands, Scotland’s Queen’s Nurses have filmed their own lockdown version of the Leadership Dance. This film, recorded in workplaces and all sorts of outdoor spaces, is an invitation to all. So, whether colleagues, friends, or neighbours