Hate these words? Most people say they do.
They don’t want to look bad in front of people they work with or lead.
They say, “I don’t want to look silly, stupid – be called a fool.”
Most team members already know who you are. They know what you can do and can’t do – what you’re good at and where you struggle. So why pretend?
At what point do we finally “give in” and just be who we are? Own our strengths and weaknesses, then mesh with others strengths and weaknesses to create something truly special?
In teams, being authentic and real with team members requires self awareness, vulnerability and – the big one – authenticity. The hardest? I gotta think Vulnerability. And without it, how can anyone truly be authentic? It’s all tied.
Vulnerability has presented some of the biggest biggest roadblocks for some of the best leaders I know. I think their ability to take it head on and embrace it has made the difference. One of the best explanations I’ve heard about the Power of Vulnerability comes from Dr Brené Brown. Funny, practical, authentic, and an expert in her field, she provides insight and clarity about vulnerability and the power of it in all aspects of our lives (not just business).
“Whether we are a sweaty-palmed 7th grader navigating a hostile cafeteria, or a laid-off worker trying to make a mortgage payment, or a young mother waiting for mammogram results, feeling vulnerable, imperfect and afraid is human. It is when we lose our capacity to hold space for these struggles that we become dangerous. We can legislate behavior all day long, but true compassion comes from a tender and vulnerable place where we understand how inextricably connected we are.”
Dr. Brown has a new book coming out this September – Daring Greatly sharing her twelve years of research on this topic. Based on data and research, she maintains that that vulnerability is not weakness, but the clearest path to courage and meaningful connection.
What about you? Are you ready to take the plunge? Give yourself permission to be who you really are and let go of what you think you are supposed to be?