How to lead from vulnerability

"We can release the weight of unprocessed pain and embrace the lightheartedness of a wiser and more humble heart. Whomever it is you were born to be, whatever your soul was coded to accomplish, whatever lessons you were born to learn, now is the time to get serious and get going."

Marianne Williamson

My 9-year-old daughter, Xian, asked me last week: "Am I a disappointment, Mum?" My defensive reaction would have been to assure her otherwise:  how could she think that? This was probably a response more to protect my ego, more than about her. I was about to attempt to dispel her thoughts.

Instead I took a breath, paused to reflect this, (do not underestimate The Power of the Pause)  and chose to seek her point of view. So I asked her genuinely: "What makes you think so?" As I was indeed curious to understand what caused her to conclude thus.

Xian replied: "Dad, Jett and you were unanimously upset about my behaviour today, and had no qualms to tell me so."

This is when I am glad for having paused to review and reflect instead of jumping to rescue her as my initial response would have been. Instead, it gave me a good opening to reinforce a behaviour I wanted her to be aware of that was unacceptable to the family, while maintaining respect for Xian, and her self-confidence. As a bonus, it taught me that in both our moment of vulnerability, we surrendered in trust to the other party to ask for their opinion.

How many of us would have had the courage to ask the question that Xian raised? Imagine if more of us had enough respect and trust to ask that of our leaders? In turn, how many leaders may have reacted as I was about to? In pausing a split second, both Xian and I learnt something that moved our relationship closer - so we could meet each other's expectations in a win-win manner.

So, release the weight of your unprocessed pain.....

When did you last have the spirit to ask a difficult question? Is there one worth exploring right now?

......and embrace the lightheartedness of a wiser and more humble heart.