Vulnerability:Why do we need it? Blog Post Session 2

Vulnerability: Why do we need it? 

by Katie Gerrits

“Setting boundaries is making clear what’s okay and what’s not okay and why. Setting boundaries is vulnerable and brave.” – Brene’ Brown

We talked about vulnerability quite a bit in session two. Not only is “leaning into vulnerability” the focus of Brené Brown’s book: Dare to Lead, but vulnerability can also go hand-in-hand with our guest speaker Lyna Matesi’s topic of Leading Across Boundaries. For me, the topic of vulnerability is overwhelmingly relatable. Being a part of a management team, I’ve learned very quickly that vulnerability is a necessary leadership “tool” to not only be a successful leader, but a successful team. To me, being vulnerable means being open, honest, and courageous. It means having the difficult conversations, which quite honestly is something that I cannot avoid as I lead our Human Resource Department. No matter how many times I have that “difficult conversation”, I go into the next one feeling nervous and feeling vulnerable, but I come out on the other side feeling strong and feeling rewarded. Personally, the times that I’ve pushed through the most vulnerable conversations and situations are also the times that I feel the most successful.

Brené Brown said “Setting boundaries is making clear what’s okay and what’s not okay and why. Setting boundaries is vulnerable and brave.” At times, as Lyna Matesi taught us, we need to learn how to successfully span our boundaries – to breakdown silos and to drive innovation and organizational integration. This is where I find the connection between being vulnerable and Boundary Spanning Leadership which is the capability to establish direction, alignment, and commitment across boundaries within an organization to achieve a higher goal (  You must be vulnerable to achieve Boundary Spanning Leadership.

To me, being the ideal leader is figuring out the balance between vulnerability and boundaries and using vulnerability to span our boundaries. How can we be more vulnerable in the workplace? How do we know when to create a boundary, which is also a form of vulnerability? And how do we know when to turn a boundary into a frontier?  I’m hoping that the more I practice, the better I will become.

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