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It is OK to be Vulnerable in Business and in Life

I keep a list of blog post ideas and this one has been on there for a while.  So I was really excited when I saw the TEDx video presentation by Brene Brown entitled “The Power of Vulnerability.”  It is definitely worth watching, especially if being vulnerable is something that you are uncomfortable with; you are not alone.

In fact, the perception that vulnerability is bad seems to have become a pandemic!  I have experienced the negative impacts of this misconception in my professional life and in my community work.

Ever had a boss that refused to admit they made a mistake?  Or worked with a leader that failed to acknowledge their weaknesses time and time again?  How did that make you feel?

I know when I have experienced those kinds situations I immediately feel the trust slipping away.  How can I trust someone if they think that they are perfect?  I know that I am not perfect, because no one is.  We are all human – for better or for wurst.  And this belief that showing weakness or admitting error is bad, is in fact weak and could ruin you…..couldn’t be further from the truth.

Vulnerability is not only ok, it actually empowers you to live a more fulfilling life.  People can identify with someone that is like them, imperfect.  If you let yourself be vulnerable you will find that most people are understanding, sympathetic and able to relate.

In addition, you are actually made stronger by showing your vulnerability because then you allow others to help you overcome the weakness.  Maybe they provide insight to help you grow or maybe they possess a complimentary strength.  You’ll never know what you’re missing unless you’re comfortable being vulnerable!

When a leader in an organization is unable to show vulnerability then the organization itself will not show vulnerability.  Much like our relationships with people, we tend not to trust businesses that act like they are perfect.  It is always a facade!  That’s not to say that you should just be weak, confidence is a valuable trait.

In my experience, hiding your vulnerability may appear to help your efforts in the short run, but eventually clients, employees, and other stakeholders will see through the smoke screen.  So, if you make a mistake own up.  It might hurt your ego to admit the error of your ways but in the long run people will know that you are trustworthy!

And while you’re at it, don’t present your weaknesses to others as a strength just to build perceived value in your services.  Eventually others will see that you cannot deliver on what you promised and they will….not trust you!

In a nutshell, by embracing vulnerability as a strength you can develop meaningful and lasting relationships in your business that will greatly benefit you in the long run.

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