Last week’s Thought for the Week, was about “Vulnerability is a Powerful Tool” and how showing vulnerability is actually showing strength.
[You can find previous posts here in my blog].
Last Thursday, I gave a talk to a group of unemployed people about careers. This was a mixed group and some were interactive and some less so. But they had all come on this course with a common aim – to try and find a job that would spark an interest for them.
When we meet someone for the first time, we make up our minds about them within the first 15 seconds, on the basis of their age, gender, accent, hairstyle, clothing etc. Then, having decided who they are, we make up this whole story about who we think they are, and how they will behave.
So, I asked each individual within this group about their interests and they were surprised because they thought they would just sit there and I’d talk “at” them for an hour or so. Not so, that’s not my style!
And we had a chat about what kind of things spark their interest.
Then I told them about my career journey. I told them how I left school at 16, yes I got 7 O’ Levels and I didn’t stay on for A’ Levels, or go on to Uni to get a Masters Degree. I did further professional education later on after I found out where my interests lay.
They were all surprised and one lady in the group said; ”Never judge a book by its cover hey!”
“There are no secrets better kept than the secrets that everybody guesses”
As we humans tend to do, we make assumptions about people when we first meet them, and they did think that I was some kind of “posh bird” that had been to Uni!
And that’s OK! What felt good though was the fact that I really enjoyed our conversation because it was REAL.
How often are we able to have real, open conversations with people we don’t know?
I was able to show my vulnerability and be authentic about who I am and they really appreciated it.
So, I hope this ignited a spark in them that it’s OK to be yourself and to be aware of how we judge people and situations without first finding out more.
Showing vulnerability is living life authentically …
What do you hear when I say “Living an Authentic Life”?
What does that mean to you?
- Living by your deepest values?
- Speaking and acting your truth?
- Being true to yourself?
- Telling the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable?
- Living your life according to what your intentions are, moment-by-moment?
- Taking responsibility in relationships without blaming the other person?
- To remain vulnerable and transparent, even when you feel you will be misunderstood, or criticised somewhat?
- To live authentically so you never have those moments when it just doesn’t feel right?
- There is no trace of artificiality, that person is just being who they are?
- Lack of fragmentation so the various parts of yourself are communicating with one another and the barriers are gone?
- Knowing when you don’t know what you are feeling (there is no pressure to be something)?
Communication isn’t just affected by identities. It is also affected by difference – for example, by age, ethnicity/’race’, culture and one of the things which we do all the time is to work from stereotypes or ‘typification’.
So, by being vulnerable and authentic, we immediately build a much clearer story about who we are and build rapport with others so much more easily. And this immediately overcomes so many potential misunderstandings and conflicts.
“My disorder thrives in isolation – my recovery grows in authentic communication”
-Christina Sophia Pearson-
As always, I will leave that with that thought.
With best wishes for your success!
P.S. I invite you to book a completely complimentary Coaching Session HERE
P.P.S. Ask me about the next Communication Code Group Programme