Vulnerababble Definition:  verb. The latest cultural practice of sharing in order to show “vulnerability” but wind up sharing every detail to the point of blabbing themselves into losing the very audience they hope to connect with.

In other words, it’s the style of language the Gilmore Girls made famous — speak every thought out loud, non-stop as fast as you can.  It might make for some interesting entertainment, but in real life it can just be downright annoying.

If you do this in business, you can negatively impact your credibility by appearing insecure or unfocused.  In your personal life and dating relationships, you’ll likely appear selfish or self-centered.   In any communication between men and women, you’re likely to lose the men — you know, that experience where they just start to glaze over while you’re talking?

As speakers and coaches, these days we are advised to be “vulnerable” in order to connect with our audiences.  Be very careful with this advice.  Unfortunately there are those who, in their attempt to do so, mistake this strategy for using the stage as their public therapy platform.

Some of the best advice ever given is “we were given two ears and one mouth, because we should listen twice as much as we speak”.   Learning to be vulnerable is not all about how much we can share, but also how well we can listen in order to make a connection with another person by making them feel heard and understood.

The next time you’re up for sharing and being vulnerable, ask yourself:  What is your intention of the share:  to get sympathy; boost your ego; or connect, come from a place of service, and give so someone can truly learn from an experience you had?  Come on … be honest.

There is an art and balance to vulnerability.  You get better at it as you practice it — it’s a skill and an act of courage.  Want to learn more about vulnerability?  There’s probably no better teacher than Brene Brown.  I strongly encourage learning from her insightful take on this critical communication skill.

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