I love it when a life lesson reveals itself like a flashing neon sign in a dark desert. Recently I had one of those “neon sign” lessons and I think it’s worth sharing.
Having committed to “building out” my personal/business network due to feeling a little “stuck”, I began to “unstick” myself by reaching out to some current acquaintances. I started setting casual coffee meetings with no agenda but a purpose. The purpose was to build deeper relationships. I attempted to set most of these meetings before standard business hours, (whatever that means), to avoid interruptions. Current acquaintances began to recommend new people and the calendar became full.
I love a full calendar.
The conversations were frank. The dialogue open. In most cases we dove deep but I asked most of the questions.
Recently the tables turned.
I set a meeting with a local newscaster who was a highly-skilled interviewer. Having honed these skills by interviewing people who probably were accustomed to being “interviewed” I was no match. He wanted to know my story, my real, unvarnished history.
I attempt to live as transparently as possible so each question was met with my best attempt at the reality of my story. Raw, real, just the facts. His questions were pointed and structured in away that showed care but allowed no room for wandering. In the end he had my chronological life story.
It was difficult. It was cathartic. It was freeing.
Then he said this, “Now that I know you, your station means more to me.”
Vulnerability is necessary to build strong relationships and relationships are the key to building stronger businesses and partnerships but it is scary. It is not for the faint of heart.
2021 will require scary levels of vulnerability from some of us if we are truly seeking to grow though this.
Many simply won’t have the stomach for it but I challenge you to be different. Decide to be different.
Dan Miller, the author of “48 Days to the Work You Love” and the “48 Days” podcast recently said that when you decide something, something must die. The root word for “decide” is the same as “suicide” and “homicide”.
Decide to be vulnerable. Let your fear die.
Only then can others really get to know you.
The result? Your growth.
Kevin Anderson, General Manager of Salem Nashville