2 minute read
This is the first of three newsletters diving into the topic of vulnerability and openness: why it matters so much, when to do it and how to use it effectively as a leader.
The story begins back in January (remember January?). My wife and I were getting ready to leave NYC, and everyone was asking “Do you have a job lined up?” I hated that question because the answer was ‘no’, and whenever I had to answer the question I felt exposed.
On January 20th, just 10 days before we left, I got offered a job at Implement Consulting Group. I was so happy. Finally I could put that pesky question to rest and update my LinkedIn: look at how successful I am! My God I loved that.
Fast forward through a pandemic, life crisis and being let go again from the job, I’ve been reaching out to old friends, sharing my struggle and asking for help.
One person wrote back: “I’m surprised to hear from you. I thought you had it all figured out.”
This comment hit me. I’ve been working intentionally with vulnerability and openness for more than nine years, so I thought I was as open as one could be. However, to him, and maybe others, I had still seemed unapproachable. He told me that he too had been struggling lately, something I probably wouldn’t have heard about if I hadn’t shared my own struggle first.
From being unapproachable it can quickly get worse. The more successful you appear, the more likely it is that others will feel inferior around you. That can turn into insecurity and even envy. All of which makes it harder to have a strong relationship. More success projection means less human connection.
The solution obviously isn’t to replace all your success stories with negative stories of misery and self pity. But what then? In the next issue, we will dive into some very tangible ways, you can practice sharing more vulnerability without falling into the trap of oversharing.
This is part 1 of 3.
- Part 1: Why vulnerability matters for social connection
- Part 2: Finding your own vulnerability sweet spot
- Part 3: Using vulnerability as a leader