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Masking life? Friday August 29, 2014

Back in the day, I 'grew-up' in an organisational culture where everyone kept a stiff upper lip and wore their stress like a medal of honour. Managers exhibited - and everyone imitated - the kind of super hero behaviour that can lead to exhaustion, burnout or breakdown. It was scary and unsustainbale!

When it was my turn to lead a team, I discovered: 1) that when I was open about some of my own challenges, 2) asked for help when I needed it and 3) admitted I was wrong when I was, I set the tone for authentic communication and improved trust all around.

The resulting dialogue (EQ not IQ debate) almost always uncovered more options and creative solutions. Most importantly my willingness to be vulnerable, with humility, reduced my self-imposed pressure to be invincible/correct/right/all-knowing. I became a better manager, co-worker and friend, in fact an improved leader in life - authentic to self.

While we often are willing to be vulnerable in our personal relationships we all too often consider it off-limits in our professional lives. Some equate vulnerability to weakness and are threatened by it. Yet we have all been inspired by people who openly acknowledged how they've worked through a professional or personal issue that was emotionally challenging. Their trust scores and integrity scores were continually rising.

Being vulnerable within your own 'safe' zone, really means finding the courage to be sincere, open and honest. It also means being readily receptive to input or feedback from others. A balance of truthfulness and sensitivity creates a safe environment in which everyone can learn and grow.

Never ever use 'the truth' as a weapon...that finger pointing to them creates three fingers pointing back at you...try it.

So, take off the super hero mask. Be more authentic and allow others to learn from you in that process. You'll discover more about yourself and become a role model for honest communication and better relationships.

Trust - is the one thing that changes everything.

Do you trust yourself enough to become trustworthy - worthy of trust?

A Moodscope member.

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Toasted Tea Cake Fri, Aug 29th 2014 @ 6:35am

Like that Les. Trust in yourself, nothing else matters. Metallica I think. Wisdom, even in Heavy Metal. Wish I could have had a manager like you - a brave one.


Julia Fri, Aug 29th 2014 @ 8:34am

It seems in some organisations that it's all about making money, maximising profits, and bonuses for the managers; admitting to mistakes means you are out! So covering up, being dishonest and having a face that fits which means good looking, fit, slim etc etc for both male and female employees, and above all bravado and self confidence seems to be the main requirement for some sectors eg banking,the legal profession. Or am I being too cynical here? You are right Les. You obviously turned the culture round in your organisation. Well done. How can we teach other macho, profit motivated employers to change too?.

Anonymous Fri, Aug 29th 2014 @ 11:07am

Trust is so important in the work place but equally in personal relationships.

Anonymous Fri, Aug 29th 2014 @ 4:11pm

Great blog. Thank you. Yes, working with a Mrs Invincible brought me down in the end. Couldn't cope with her. God knows what happened to her children! Too high expectation, not enough verbal communication. She was 'growing mushrooms' to get to the top. Yes, kept me in the dark! I walked out. Best move I ever made! Now, due to a breakdown, I have become true to myself and willing to share myself. Got better results with my associates!

Anonymous Fri, Aug 29th 2014 @ 6:25pm

Very wise words Les, thank-you. Did you ever go for that walk? It sounds as if you are in a better place at the moment ... if so, hope it lasts! If not, hang on in there ... I'm rooting for you! Frankie

Les Sat, Aug 30th 2014 @ 1:30am

Have them look at The Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies To Work For.....they earn 4 times the profit over a five year period!

Morals before money works everytime.....

Les Sat, Aug 30th 2014 @ 1:30am

Trust is the one thing that changes everything

Les Sat, Aug 30th 2014 @ 1:33am

Yup - various 'walks'..........I'm much better thanks Frankie.

So let's see how long this time......gym every night I'm home again now and as always work opportunities 'appear'.

Go well

Anonymous Sat, Aug 30th 2014 @ 2:31pm

How funny - I have just been signed up to our local sports centre ... 3 hydro active classes and one gentle exercise class this week (well, two and half hydro classes actually as I had to abandon half-way through - it was that or end up in uncontrollable tears).

It's strange how things can fall into place when we allow ourselves to "be" - I am trying very hard to trust to the Universe that solutions will "appear" for me and mine ...

Thanks Les, you too. Frankie

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