Home Concepts Interpersonal Relationships Vulnerability Is My Superpower:  Notes from a Practitioner

Vulnerability Is My Superpower:  Notes from a Practitioner

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Throughout my career, being vulnerable has helped and hindered me.  For example, by reaching out to people and consulting them about ideas, I sometimes may be perceived as someone who lacks original ideas. That is simply not the case.  For me, it’s the analytical part of my brain wanting to hear everyone’s opinions and using it to help form my own.  Let’s face it – no one can claim that they know or are an expert in everything. So, why wouldn’t I reach out to subject matter experts on a topic to hear their perspective?  That doesn’t mean I need to agree with them, but it does mean I need to be willing to shift my perspective momentarily to see the bigger picture.

One recent instance was in my previous marketing job.  We were trying to figure out how showcase different positions for which my company was hiring in order to attract new, right-fit talent to our organization.  The challenge was that you can only say, “Now Hiring Engineers” so many times and ways, but we needed them in the door tomorrow.  So, we needed to shift our thinking and come up with a creative way to position our company as the “Employer of Choice” for engineers; we needed to put our heads together.  I had met with a variety of people on my team already, but then I decided to take it a step further and asked other internal partners, such as our analytics and finance partners, for thoughts and ideas.  While some of their ideas were out of scope and not feasible, having this diversity of thought triggered ideas and concepts for my team and ultimately ended up yielding our final product.

Another example is when I simply asked someone about the opportunity to volunteer my time to learn more about their department.  This was someone whom I had met earlier in my career and whom I admired, so I wanted to learn more about her work.  What started as sheer curiosity turned into a job offer in that same department two years later!  I wasn’t looking to change career fields and I loved the work that I was doing; I was just curious to learn about other departments.  But then again, I also didn’t know what I was missing, until I started volunteering.  Who knows if I would be in the same job if I hadn’t taken that chance to ask?

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