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“You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability.” – Brene Brown
If you want to be a more successful leader, add vulnerability to your communication. Being vulnerable is that place where you offer up your new concept to the world. You allow yourself to be fully seen as the person you are – warts and all. You and your ideas could be criticized or ignored.
But no invention was immediately accepted - because people dislike change. The internet was originally dismissed as impossible and now where would we be without it? So was the first car, the first computer and The Beatles. I can’t imagine my life without my vehicle, a laptop or the music of the Fab Four!
By not being vulnerable to opposition or criticism you are limiting your creativity. And it is creativity that makes our lives better, and our work more productive.
You need courage to be vulnerable – to show you don’t know it all.
Brene Brown urges people to not wait until they are perfect or bulletproof before stepping forward with a new idea. She believes that people waste opportunities by not being vulnerable. Brown believes that vulnerability is the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, and of love.
To show vulnerability:
Ask questions when you don’t understand an idea, even though you think everyone else does
Ask for help
Be realistic in your workload. Don’t try to be Superman, push back if you are overwhelmed
Apologize if you make a mistake
Be compassionate with yourself first, then show compassion to others
Teddy Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
So, I urge you to have the courage to step forward, to put yourself in the arena of criticism. To be willing to not be perfect at everything you do.
I coach technical leaders on how to “step up” their leadership skills. How to be more courageous in their communication. How to be more creative. Want to talk? Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com
Watch Brene Brown’s TED talk on The Power of Vulnerability
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