In November I blogged about the gifts of vulnerability - trust, empathy, opportunity, entrepreneurship, courage, innovation and more. I also talked about how you can maximise the warmth and light of vulnerability and and minimise the risk of burn through truth, connection and focus.
I asked you to let me know your stories of vulnerability. Here are a few of the responses I received. Thanks to all that shared their stories.
My take on 'Vulnerability'. It’s hard when you are ‘the fixer’ to let people know you don't know the answers for yourself. Acknowledging that aloud, to trusted people, was a huge step for me. I was used to thinking and finding solutions, options and ways to move forward for others.
I totally agree. Discussions in the baths, even in the springs semi naked, are deeper. The convos are different to dinner convos. Much more personal, much more naked and honest. Not that we aren't honest, but it's clear our vulnerabilities are exposed.
I put this vulnerability into practice at work recently when I was facing a very difficult conversation with a senior leader. I wanted to communicate some feedback without him feeling judged or like he couldn’t speak his mind to me in the future. It was absolutely transformative. By sharing a story about my own personal pain which had led to my professional passion for non-violent communication, I saw his whole demeanor relax and shift to compassionately responding to my request. He then shared something with me in return which helped me to feel deep trust of his motivations (where I had previously been feeling guarded and suspicious). He went on to introduce me to someone in his team who would benefit immediately from a listening ear about some shared experiences, and to invite me to be interviewed by him in front of a broader audience (in a seat he normally reserves for top execs!).
Love it Helga, I do a training camp for men every year and it involves “vulnerability” amongst many other things. Yes, being in my vulnerability is when I can really get some insights into who I am.
In recent years, I have learned that opening up about feeling both professionally and personally challenged is not weakness. It is building my resilience. When I asked for assistance – in my case help working through ways forward - the people who focused on the positives helped me forge a different path. They saw possibilities for growth and learning that were not clear to me. Its still perhaps not solid ground, but I am building stronger foundations that I believe now underpin my natural strengths and empower me to broaden my horizons. I agree it is not the same as oversharing. Although sometimes that happens naturally for me! I think I used openness about matters that didn’t impact me as much to cover what I did not want to delve into for myself.
Feel free to add to the stories - email me or send a response through this website. Again, thanks for sharing.