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Vulnerability is an Asset

Written by on October 3, 2019 in blog, Newsletter

After attending a three hour workshop facilitated by coaches trained by Brene Brown, I couldn’t wait to share what I learned with you. So many juicy nuggets, where to start?

Brene Brown teaches business leaders the dynamics and power of vulnerability, leadership, and communication.

The thing that excited me the most was a brilliant concept that ties your business ROI to Vulnerability. Who would have thought, right?! As a publicist and marketing consultant, ROI is key to measuring the success of campaigns. ROI is fueled by numbers and outcomes like impressions, clicks, reads, shares, etc. Where the heck does vulnerability enter this equation? Well here it is –

Your ROI (return on investment) increases by making these two choices that require being vulnerable –

  1. Allowing Failure
  2. Allowing Risk

So it is true. We all have the power!

What does risk look like in business? Risk involves making a choice that you have not made before and doing something you have not done before, or just doing it differently. What is the risk in that? It might not work (fail). Fear of failure is a big motivation to stay safe and in your lane. Then there is the reality that we are skilled at those things we have done before, and repeated over time. Darn good at it. We intuitively know that trying to do things differently will create a painful learning curve. Just like learning to ride a bike, you fell a lot in the beginning, right? Who wants to fall or fail?

The risk of Not trying, however, is that you will not know what possibilities, new ideas, new strategies, tools and techniques could dramatically increase your bottom line and create happier and more satisfied customer/client relationships.

Brene Brown teaches us to be courageous. Joseph Campbell calls courage the willingness to lean into the hero’s journey. We cannot be courageous without being vulnerable. What does that mean?

  1. To be vulnerable means that we do things outside our comfort zone. We don’t consciously realize that we avoid things that could cause us risk of failure, embarrassment, or shame. Risk, embarrassment and shame have been burned into our psyche since we were tiny tots as a way for our caregivers to keep us safe, control our behavior, and manage us. We unconsciously adopt avoidant behaviors to those things that could trigger any one of those three dreaded emotional vulnerabilities that will, over time, erode our self esteem.
  2. We avoid having those conversations with people that are uncomfortable. Because of that we leave these things on the table: collaboration, creativity, curiosity and learning about new ways of doing things and new opportunities. Maybe more importantly, when we bravely lean into in those difficult conversations, we establish trust. Trust is one of the highest values people hold dear in both personal and professional relationships.
  3. What things do you avoid that prevent your business from growing?
  4. What things can you do to choose courage over comfort?
  5. Brene Brown considers success a series of failures. Unless we risk and fail, we are not operating at our full potential. We need to stretch ourselves out of our comfort zone.

What things can you think of today that would stretch you and help your business grow?

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