It's never easy to say goodbye

I'm back friends! I believe that Zola's school schedule and our work schedules are set, so a rhythm is finally in place. One of my Database Sherpa clients is coming to the end of their current journey with me and I have come to the realization that they are afraid of letting go. It's entirely understandable, since I've been with them for over seven months. We've bonded and grown together in many ways.

I’m reminded of a time when I worked at a company that had a consultant who guided them through a major transition. This consultant had overstayed his need, but no one saw it. Employees were comfortable with his presence. And when the manager realized the consultant was no longer needed and decided to make a change, it shook many to the core. Although the staff felt like he was still needed, in truth, the team had assimilated the knowledge needed to take over. The real issue was this: he had become a familiar face and people were used to seeing him around. Being connected.

I'm not a psychologist or expert on emotional well-being, but I do know that we get comfortable with the way things are and that we need familiarity in our lives. Too much disruption can cause stress and stress is not good. I certainly don't want to cause stress in my client's lives when it is time for me to leave.

So, as I think about how I will manage this transition, I keep reminding my client how they have come so far. How much they have accomplished, and how much more they will accomplish without me. I tell them how proud I am of their hard work. I am trying to build up their self-confidence before I release them into the world to continue their journey without me. I also remind them of all the tools and resources they have at their disposal (which are not going anywhere), and that I'm also available if they get really stuck.

This is probably the most challenging and difficult part of my job as a Sherpa: letting go. It's not quite like Zola saying “Self Mommy”. This is the time that she's fallen down and looks at me with those teary eyes—my heart aches. BUT, after I make sure she's not injured, I dust her off, stand her up and say, "Do it again." It's all about trying, failing and trying again.

I know my client will be just fine. I know the fear they are feeling. It will evaporate and they will feel their confidence grow with each new step they take without me. I am so very grateful to be a part of such a transformation.

I'll leave my client with this Dr. Seuss quote: “Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.”