Posted by: johnocunningham | December 17, 2011

Communication and Connection: The Power of Vulnerability

As lawyers, we spend much of our professional lives in a suit of armor, both making and defending attacks on behalf of our clients.

We also learn how to play poker, making the most of our hand, studying the faces and “tells” of other players with the simultaneous goal of never revealing anything that we are holding.

We are trained never to reveal anything without a client’s consent and a studied consideration that a disclosure is in the client’s best interest.

It is little wonder then that we lock away much of ourselves, and hide anything resembling vulnerability or weakness.

Ironically, it is the power of vulnerability and humanity that most links us to others and most enables us to change, to grow, to improve.  If you want to tell a really great story, if you want to really connect with others, you must tap into the power of vulnerability.

This is more than a story-teller’s cliche. It is a scientific fact, as revealed by the research and teaching of Dr. Brene Brown, who speaks powerfully about her work in a recent TED video.

So, if we want to make the most of our personal lives, as well as make the most of our ability to authentically connect with our clients, we need to learn how and when to safely remove the suit of armor and reveal something of who we are.

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