We hope this blog post finds you healthy and as well as can be right now!
Life has been a combination of stressful upheaval and moments of joy — a combination we can always depend on even in the strangest of times. We’re thankful that you’re here reading our thoughts in whatever quiet moment you’re able to find! We hope these thoughts from Martha will encourage you to reach out to success in both strength and softness.
I’ve heard that when you hear a certain thought or idea more than once, you’re supposed to pay attention. You’re supposed to pay attention because they say that the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you something.
This old saying popped into my head because last week the topic of vulnerability seemed to follow me wherever I went. I realized, “Alright, Martha… it’s time to listen up!”
The first time vulnerability popped onto my radar, I was listening to a podcast that spoke straight to my heart. It talked about the idea of letting others know what we aren’t good at instead of always trying to prove that we are good at everything.
In today’s day and age, we are trained — especially in the business world — to focus on our strengths, just as the Clifton StrengthsFinder would tell us. We’re huge advocates of focusing on our strengths and simply managing our weaknesses, but this approach was different. It posed that we should let others know what those weaknesses are rather than just trying to manage them.
I love this idea! It makes us appear human, more vulnerable. It’s something we all need in order to enhance connection with each other as current events force us to physically isolate for the common good.
The second time vulnerability tapped me on the shoulder was through a very similar message in a recent church homily. It focused on the idea of sharing our vulnerabilities as a humbling experience when giving guidance to others.
Sometimes, the best way to both give and receive feedback is by acknowledging that we, ourselves, are not perfect.
Recently, I had the opportunity to coach two different individuals who were both new in their leadership roles.
The first person was eager to say, “I don’t know what I don’t know!” and “Teach me what I need to learn!”
I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear that this person has been successful! She was open to learning, eager for feedback, and welcomed any type of knowledge she could use to grow in her role. The other person, however, couldn’t quite admit that he didn’t know everything about his new position.
As a result, he was not open to guidance, didn’t think performance gaps had anything to do with him and had a tendency to blame others for his shortcomings. This style of leadership, if not turned around quickly, predicts workplace strife and inefficiency.
Trust me, I understand that vulnerability can be uncomfortable! While it can seem like we’re airing our dirty laundry or divulging an embarrassing secret, the truth is that vulnerability in itself is a strength.
The ability to admit that we don’t have all the answers, or that we don’t excel in something opens an abundance of pathways for us to learn and grow as people.
While vulnerability can be scary, it also ironically allows us the opportunity to close the gap on our issues by welcoming others to help us, ultimately harnessing the strengths of our peers to help us emotionally evolve and professionally thrive.
Just two days ago, I hit this same wall . . . hard! I’ve always been one to tout my strengths, thinking that they will always allow me to overcome any problem or challenge along the way. Wrong. I took a huge chance yesterday and admitted some weaknesses to a friend, my spouse and a few board members. Talk about feeling exposed! In the end, however, I found great support, listening hearts and a clear path forward on how to handle some of those weaknesses. Until they come to light, those weaknesses can be debilitating! Vulnerability is a mark of true character in my book. Great post!