By Dianne J. Shaver, M.A. Destiny Coach
Today I experienced someone telling a somewhat painful personal story to a group that touched on our common human experience. We are usually taught to hide our vulnerability. But when we use it as a way to empower or touch others it becomes a very powerful tool. However, if it is a ploy and not real, people sense it and mistrust it. My reason for bringing this up is that usually, in business we are taught to only come from strength. That can be an appropriate stance in some cases. However, when we are trying to bond with people and have them give us their trust, being more open and human works best.
By being vulnerable I don’t mean telling your deepest darkest secrets or things that would be inappropriate except to our closest friends. But rather, letting people know that although we are strong, competent and accomplished, we are also fallible. That allows others to bond with us. Leaders who show no vulnerability may be feared and followed but if the occasion occurs they will be turned upon.
There was a study done on apes wherein the strongest asserted himself (yes, it was a male) threw things, roared, pushed other apes, etc. The other primates climbed trees to get out of his way but also to show they would not fight with him. However, when they got to the top of the trees they made aggressive sounds, demonstrating that they would attack him eventually if he kept up his behavior.
What do we learn from this? Leaders of any kind, even of a workshop, who do not show any vulnerability, compassion or caring will not be followed for very long. Look at all of the most listened to and read inspirational business leaders, like Brian Tracey, John Maxwell, Guy Kawasaki, etc. all tell stories about themselves which demonstrate they are just like the people they are speaking to, which enables their listeners to take their advice since they overcame similar situations. If they were not able to connect with people no one would listen to anything they had to say. So, you can be brilliant but if you can’t connect on a human level with people there won’t be much interaction or business done.
This illustrates that human connection is key in every area of our life, business included. Our ability to touch people and to be touched by them is vital to any success and to our feelings of accomplishment. There have been many dictators in history who have ruled through merciless power. But in the end, they have all fallen because might can persist for a while but eventually it will be challenged and brought down.
It is in almost all humans to form bonds, to relate to others, no matter how rich, powerful and successful we become. Those who attain success and are still capable of compassion, caring and connection also have a powerful impact on the world around them as well as a deep sense of fulfillment. Remember, in ways, we are all leaders and influencers. How you connect does make a difference. How do you connect with others? Worth a look.
Never be so busy you can’t offer a smile, a kind word or a listening ear.
Best to you,
Dianne, Destiny Coach www.entrepreneurmindworld.com/destiny-coach