While facilitating a recent conference with senior leaders we explored the impact of “being” vulnerable both internally within the business and externally with customers/clients.
We agreed the impact is:
– deeper trust
– more real conversations
– greater efficiency because we get to the heart of the matter far quicker
– working with these people is just far more enjoyable and inspiring
– greater scope to add value.
Yet there was still significant push back as these leaders referred to needing to be professional and vulnerability didn’t align with their concept.
Ultimately they also acknowledged not “wanting” to go that deep – it was far easier to play safe in their relationships they argued. Which brings me again to the common reference to people skills as the “soft skills”.
Being vulnerable is tough and requires courage, tenacity and discipline – nothing soft about any of that! It means opening up, removing your protective armour and being real…….sharing what you are really thinking and feeling and also really listening when others share their thoughts. It means stepping confidently into uncertainty and without a pre conceived solution or even notion about where the conversation is going to end up.
People respond positively to this kind of vulnerability – they want to belong, they want you to care – in our humanness we still need these things.
Courageous leaders know this and value this and benefit from the impacts.