Vulnerability. It’s something we instinctively avoid, both physically and emotionally. For some of us, it’s the reason we drink at parties, put on makeup and, often, surround ourselves by people who don’t challenge us. It’s particularly true in the UK, where keeping a stiff upper lip and stoicism in general have historically been highly valued.
We may find ourselves keeping ideas back because we’re afraid they’re not good enough and we don’t want to expose ourselves to criticism or failure. However, often a half-baked idea from one person can spark a fully-baked idea in someone else.
Being vulnerable can feel incredibly uncomfortable, but being vulnerable is also an intrinsic part of the human experience. By denying our vulnerability, we often end up denying our true selves. Why does this matter in the context of our work? Because to reach the best solutions, we need all participants communicating openly and freely, and that often entails a certain level of vulnerability.
Vulnerability is key to creativity. We may find ourselves keeping ideas back because we’re afraid they’re not good enough and we don’t want to expose ourselves to criticism or failure. However, often a half-baked idea from one person can spark a fully-baked idea in someone else. Accepting vulnerability makes creative success far more likely.
As someone who has done an awful lot of public speaking both professionally and personally, I’ve found that my best and most terrifying weapon is my vulnerability. It allows your audience to connect and empathize with you and it makes them feel included in what you’re saying rather than feeling talked at.
As it’s something that we instinctively avoid, particularly in corporate settings, our Well & Truly workshops are set up to slowly and gently ease everyone into a state of authenticity and vulnerability. While other workshops try to force this through fairly cringeworthy ice breaker games; our approach uses a combination of breathing, unembarrassing movement and simple talking.
By starting our workshops with helping everyone embrace a little more of their vulnerability, we strengthen the group and set everyone up for a fulfilling day that is far more likely to produce the desired solutions. Our hope, as always, is that experiencing this for a day or two will inspire participants to start to embrace vulnerability as a powerful tool in their day-to-day lives.