I recently had an epic communication meltdown. Two people, pouring tons of hours working toward a goal we each thought the other wanted. In my post mortem, I realized I had two shortcomings: I didn’t take responsibility for checking my assumptions, and I wasn’t vulnerable enough to risk offending someone else by revealing my truth.
Since then, this theme of responsibility and vulnerability keeps popping up everywhere I perceive I’m falling short. Probably because it also holds the key to propelling me forward.
Responsibility and vulnerability are the Batman and Robin of my superhero self.
Responsibility focuses on what I can do. Vulnerability allows you to help me. Responsibility causes me to speak up. Vulnerability shares what I truly want. Responsibility ensures I finish writing this post. Vulnerability publishes it even though it’s not perfect.
Communication is a muscle. Responsibility contracts it. Vulnerability relaxes it.
Too much responsibility can lead to achieving the goal at all costs. Too little responsibility can lead to achieving nothing at all. Too much vulnerability makes everything all about me. Too little vulnerability can lead to others taking it personally.
When things get tense, bring more vulnerability. When things go limp, take more responsibility.