Quite frankly, my team skills are shit. I operated well in a duo for years. Me and Wife. She’d boss me around and make the decisions. I’d go with it. She’d decide where we were going, I’d follow. She’d ask me to jump, I’d ask how high. But when she ceased to be, I had no option but to go it solo. In some bizarre ways, it was a relief. Not a relief that she was dead, but a relief that I could make my own decisions for a change. I regularly find Kelly Clarkson “Since U Been Gone” going through my head. I can breathe for the first time. #warpedwidowhumour
When I went back to my roots out of necessity, I remembered that I have a confident interpersonal style, and a readiness to engage verbally. It’s just as well since I lost all my ‘friends’ when I was widowed and I am having to build up a whole new network so that I receive text messages from people other than my mother. I have worked very hard to integrate into new groups, make widow friends, make suicide survivor friends, and build trust and rapport with people who I intend on having around for the long term. I’ve had to push myself and drink a lot of wine to make it happen.
I joined this new team just over a year ago, one of a mixture of personalities yet one strong connecting common denominator – losing the love of our lives and consequently having to rise from the ashes. My ability to empathise with this team has been incredible and I feel lucky, not to have become part of it, but to have found and joined it. We operate with mutual respect and trust. I have made valuable contributions to the team by sharing my words of wisdom about surviving this journey, managing emotions, challenging others and holding them accountable where necessary. However, I have also been brave enough to admit to my faults which, I believe, has helped others in the team make wiser decisions, not to mention illustrates my own emotional intelligence. I am a strong team player, I can cry just as much as the next widow, but I have the ability to laugh at myself and make people smile. This is my unique contribution. For example, when I got drunk, accidentally seduced and kissed a Boy Widower in an initially platonic context, sharing the tale with my team on a widow online forum led to my thread receiving 1775 views and 75 responses. My multi jurisdictional team requires a flexible verbal and written communicative approach. I would go as far as to say that this is a team I will always be connected with in spirit, though we may move in different directions and at different paces.
*this post is part of a spoof series inspired by my self appraisal process at work.