This is a fabulous TED talk. Brene Brown studies human connection – our ability to empathise, belong, love. This pointed but upbeat talk is about what she has discovered through her thorough research into vulnerability.
Vulnerability may sound like something that doesn’t relate to leadership but we are sharing it here because your ability to be a powerful, authentic leader is very rooted in your willingness and capacity to be vulnerable.
Vulnerability is often viewed as a position of risk, which naturally has a low appeal to people whose commitment is to lead others. Showing your ‘weaker’ side, or appearing weak, is anathema to most leaders.
However, as a leader you are offered many mini moments in a day where you can choose to avoid looking vulnerable, present yourself as someone who has all the answers, or you can share yourself in way that results in an extraordinary experience of connection with someone.
Why would you be interested in connecting with someone? Something I hear all the time from people who are experiencing being disengaged from their managers and leaders is – ‘they are transactional, they are only talking to get what they want and need, they are not really interested in me’. Apart from the opportunity for impacting the level at which your people are engaged with you, connection offers other real biological benefits – as Brene’s talk will show.
In a recent conversation with a client, he was sharing about a leadership development exercise he was involved in and how, in the exercise debrief, nearly every woman in the group expressed that they felt ‘more connected’ with everyone else. He was intrigued by the word ‘connected’ being used exclusively by the women and said ‘I want to find out more about what that means’.
If you’re also intrigued, take 20 minutes out of your day and listen to an expert.