What do you do when your team member has lost a child and you cannot ease their grief?
Or when your friend has a family crisis that you cannot fix?
Or when another is going through a traumatic divorce and is facing a bleak future?
Sometimes all you can do is to hold a safe space for them.
To be there for them.
To listen deeply.
Without telling them what to do, how to be or how to feel.
Without trying to ‘fix’ anything.
It is a form of attunement, and in being aware of our own mind and body while tuning and connecting to another person.
Sometimes we connect on a gut and emotional level as well.
It’s being able to stay in tune and in sync with the feelings of others as well as with ours.
If you’re with someone, you are paying attention to everything.
Their body language.
The way they are talking – the tone, rhythm and cadence.
How they shift their gaze or breathe, when they are finding it hard to share a challenging part of their story.
Perhaps if they are upset and anxious, you can offer a grounded presence that helps to calm them.
Or if they are grieving and tearful, you can offer a safe space for them to feel secure enough to be vulnerable and emotional.
Holding a space for someone isn’t easy, as it may awake some feelings in ourselves that is uncomfortable.
Practice relaxed awareness.
You may want to talk to someone else about what you’re experiencing, and that’s ok too.
Holding a space for others is a gift you can give, one that costs you nothing but is priceless to the recipient.
The English start by putting the kettle on. ☕
How do you hold space for others?