Fast Company on the power of vulnerability

An incredibly successful client had an employee team blow up.

They were originally excited to be tasked by management to address a big employee headache. It was to improve a process that touched a lot of people in the organization.

And then the team self-destructed. It was due to poor communication and ego. (But isn’t it almost always that?)

The owner and I had a tense conversation. I was transparent: I was concerned that, if this wasn’t addressed, it would leave the company with lower morale and employee engagement than when I started. That wasn’t good for them–or my future with them!

Then the owner surprised me by opening up about his fear:

“This is what I was afraid of, Mark,” the owner said. “I would get everybody excited, and then they’d realize that it can’t really change here.”

More than once I have had a client hire me to help them improve a process that was going to increase business. It has always led to a conversation about leadership and teamwork.

And, if the client is willing to go there, that conversation leads to some vulnerability: blind spots, unspoken concerns, fears.

That’s when real progress happens. (The aforementioned client? They just had another record year after getting the employee team back on track.)

So when a reader forwards an article about the subject, along with one word, “LEGIT,” I know it’s good. (Hat tip to Jen–thank you!)

From Fast Company: “How to tackle the monsters holding you back from being a good leader.”

Are you still working on just the tactical issues–a process, a policy?

If so, have you wondered why people won’t just jump on board and do what you ask?

It probably has to do with trust.

Have you thought of it this way? That “intentional self-exploration” of your fears, etc. can lead to breakthroughs for you and your team?

When trust goes up, everybody accomplishes more.

Trust-building vulnerability takes courage. Note that the root word for courage is the Latin cor, “heart.” You’re going to have to open up the vest and show your heart.

Two immediate ways to do that come to mind:

  1. Take yourself and your team through a personality assessment that helps you better understand yourself–and helps others better understand you. I’m certified for Myers-Briggs, but I’m a big fan of DISC. I’ve seen it work.
  2. Get a coach. You and your team will have a safe place to talk about what is really going on inside with some intentional conversations.

“Wrestle and grow,” as we say at Hip Socket. These conversations lead to better awareness, which leads to action.