I was recently welcomed into a group of great women at KPMG in Toronto. I was there to give my talk titled “Getting Out of Your Own Way: How to take confident action, outside of your comfort zone, for exceptional results.”
Every time I host the session what amazes me is what happens when the women in my audience choose to let their armour down and get real.
By being real, I mean a willingness to be truthful. To share not only their good experiences.
Acknowledging that they haven’t figured everything out. That they aren’t perfect.
I’m the first to admit that I talk about Getting out of our own way, not because I do it perfectly, but because I am consciously and purposefully working at it.
The common perception is that by exposing ourselves we may be giving someone the opportunity to capitalize on our weakness. Or as Jessica Stillman, an Inc. columnist wrote this month, “It’s tempting to think perception is the key to first impressions” or a lasting impression….
But the reverse is true.
The opposite is demonstrated in every single session I host. I give participants a platform to speak and connect, and it’s amazing what shifts even for those who are simply listening to someone else.
I can remember a session where a participant came up to me and shared how powerful it was to hear what one of her executives was navigating. The impact wasn’t because the obstacle was so hard to overcome, but because of the executive’s willingness to share. It highlighted the executive’s humanity, made her ‘real’. The participant felt less isolated and she admired her leader even more.
Being real sometimes takes courage, but it’s worth it.
It’s amazing what benefits you and the people around you can experience when you choose to let your armour down.
Here are 3 reasons why the real you should show up at work:
#1. Nobody likes a know it all.
Think of yourself at a dinner party. Who would you prefer to sit beside? Someone who is authentic and real or someone who isn’t?
Who would you prefer to work with on your team? Someone who pretends to have all of the answers, or someone who will admit they might not know, but who trusts that they can figure it out?
#2 Others will share their experiences
You get back what you put out.
If you don’t connect or share you won’t have the opportunities to leverage other people’s experiences.
I bet that someone has recently navigated a similar situation to what you are going through. Wouldn’t you benefit from hearing how they did it? What to do or what not to do?
You’ll never have the opportunity unless you choose to open your armour, ask and share.
#3 Genuine connections expand networks.
Being real draws people in and as Jessica Stillman wrote “creates more genuine and meaningful connections”.
Nobody has it all figured out.
When you allow people in past your armour, you make real connections.
Real connections are the best way to expand your network, authentically.
How do you come across?
Maybe it’s time to open your armour and reveal a “flaw”?