Vulnerability is Power

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The following is a short book preview contributed by the Ohio State University Leadership Center.

Power Relationships: 26 Irrefutable Laws for Building Extraordinary Relationships
Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas, Wiley (2014)

“The idea of being vulnerable is anathema to many. If you’re a man, you may feel you’re expected to be strong. Showing vulnerability is not what you signed up for. On the other hand, if you’re a woman, you may be consciously trying to avoid the stereotype that woman are more emotional than men. Being vulnerable doesn’t have to mean collapsing in a heap or admitting to everyone around you that you feel inadequate.

For example, all of the following 15 actions are very appropriate and productive ways of demonstrating emotional openness and the vulnerability that can accompany it:

  1. Say you’re sorry.
  2. Admit you’re wrong.
  3. Empathize.
  4. Ask for help.
  5. Talk about how you feel – not just what you think – about an important issue.
  6. Compliment someone.
  7. Admit to a failure.
  8. Ask for advice.
  9. Use humor – joke about yourself.
  10. Share problems.
  11. Express heartfelt condolences if needed.
  12. Share personal issues as appropriate.
  13. Help someone else succeed.
  14. Be honest.
  15. Acknowledge others’ contributions (pg. 101).”

Power Relationships is available from the OSU Leadership Center.

Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world at the OSU Leadership Center website.

Jim Canterucci

I don't know everything. But I want to. The focus of our firm, Transition Management Advisors, is to develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.

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On September 21, 2015
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