Mahatma Gandhi said, “In the midst of darkness, light persists.” We hear our own Cindy Chambers often say, “Check out this silver lining!” There are endless reasons these days to feel enveloped by darkness, but excessive optimism isn’t the remedy. Instead, we don our headlamps, combine our lights, and pave the way forward.
We hear it weekly from our clients. All are rising to the challenges presented by the new normal and shining brightly. We see them express care and vulnerability with their teams and leadership, and as a result, great things happen. Trust and safety are built and earned. Increased communication and bonding lead to pivoting and soaring productivity.
In the midst of darkness, light persists.
A simple act—such as honestly answering the question, “How are you?”—opens a space for authenticity, vulnerability, and caring. One such leader experienced this firsthand after a series of rough weeks. The cumulative effect of those weeks wore him down, yet every day he slipped on his mask and soldiered forward until the day his leader asked, “No really … how are you?” The floodgates opened, he had a chance to empty out what had been festering, and his leadership team jumped at the chance to show him the same support and care he had always shown them. He got to be a human first, a c-level suite leader second, and his leadership team’s trust in him as a result of his vulnerability multiplied.
Brené Brown shares her journey when talking about the power of vulnerability. Among the many things she uncovers on this journey is this: “To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen … to love with our whole hearts, … to believe that we’re enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, ’I’m enough’ … then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”
We’ll wrap up this current blog series with an activity that we encourage you to try, should you choose, to dare to be vulnerable.
Exercise: Who’s Got Your Back?
Either on your own or in a truly safe environment where all participants may answer without fear of reprisal, ask, “Who’s got my back?”
Followed by, “Who’s back do I have?”
See if it opens the door to deeper conversations, possibilities to grow yourself and your connections, and shine a light on and heal wounds.
Remember to return next week to read our blog on the course we’re charting from now to the end of the year. For example, you may find your emotional intelligence skills improving while your resilience is waning. Or, you might feel stuck on how to transform diversity, equity, and inclusion from transparent conversations to real, authentic action. We’ll be discussing this and more. We’ve got some exciting stuff in development, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with you.
Our clients and the training community ask us questions and often consistent themes emerge. From making learning stick to developing skills we once assumed every employee possessed, the challenges today’s businesses face can be transformed through a strong learning culture.
Every year, the learning and development industry presents exciting developments, time-saving innovations, and new research. Solutions Arts follows and tests theories, practices, and technologies, and our clients benefit from what we learn. We value sharing what we learn and the opportunity to discuss it here on our blog.