We all fear to some extent being vulnerable. It feels uncomfortable. We fear looking bad or not knowing the answers. We see it in ourselves as being weak and think others will think we are weak if we show up being vulnerable. The funny thing is that when others are vulnerable, we see it as strength! When someone shares something personal that is painful, we feel honored. We feel trusted. (Assuming the share is appropriate).
Brene Brown - one of my favorite people, talks about a moment where she headed to the mall with her daughter and she was only going for a quick errand so she ran out of the house in sweats without makeup or a shower. :) Of course, She ran into two other moms in the store. Brene describes them as skinny, beautiful and totally put together. Brene was feeling not her best when she notices the moms (and their daughters) staring. She realizes that her own daughter is dancing to the store music - maybe a bit geeky.
Brene describes the choice she had: to also look at her daughter shamefully and embarrassed because she wasn't being "cool" or join in!
Brene joined in. Danced. Right there in the store - totally being geeky together.
I love this on so many levels.
Brene explains that it is our ability to look stupid and be vulnerable that creates our ability to live a FULL emotional life.
And, being vulnerable applies to our work as well.
When we hold back and stop taking actions because we fear what others will think of us, we stop creating. We stop taking action towards our dreams. And our clients lose respect for us.
Being vulnerable means stepping outside our comfort zone and having a courageous conversation or taking action towards a goal.
"Getting Naked" by Patrick Lencioni talks about why we don't get vulnerable (Naked) with our clients. We fear that being vulnerable will lead to a loss of business, we also fear looking stupid and looking inferior.
I certainly thought that showing any weakness as a young attorney or as a lieutenant in a male dominated field like firefighting would lead to disaster and a lack of trust. Yet, my fear of being vulnerable in those arenas kept me from fully connecting with clients or certain members of the Department. My experience was very different with those I was vulnerable with.
Now, I see being vulnerable very differently. For example, on my website I lead with some of my biggest, most embarrassing mistakes! Those experiences show a side I used to deny existed. Silly! Mistakes - even epic ones form us as people. Our ability to learn from them is huge.
Lencioni talks about ways to get over our fear of vulnerability. One of the ways he suggests is to tell "the kind truth". Of course, beginning a kindness revolution myself I loved that! If you want to join the kindness Revolution, Go Here!
Lencioni talks about telling clients what they might not want to hear but need to hear. We fear losing the business! We fear they might get angry! And they might! But, if we do it with kindness and love, I have found that even though they may not like it, they ultimately respect us more for the willingness to tell them the stuff others won't. That is the power of coaching! And why it is so transformative.
If you want more goodness on "Getting Naked", shoot me an email! [email protected]
Getting Naked or being vulnerable is the secret sauce to better connection with others and a richer life.
Here is to getting Naked with more regularity and with less angst!
Be super vulnerable and share a story below! If you have not seen Brene's Ted talk on vulnerability, you should. It will blow you away! Watch Brene's TED talk here.
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