Importance of being vulnerable at work with Diane Lloyd

Why Employees Should Be Vulnerable at Work with Diane Lloyd

In this episode of Relationships at Work, Russel chats with executive leadership coach, CEO and Dare to Lead facilitator Diane Lloyd on the importance of vulnerability and in bringing your full self to work.

A few reasons Diane is awesome – She’s the founder, CEO and head leadership coach of the Inspired Results Group, and a Dare to Lead Facilitator. She’s a member of the Royal Roads University faculty team and mentor coach in the Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching program, and also has an impressive background in fundraising, raising $40 million total for a museum, a university and sports organizations.

Check out all the episodes of Relationships at Work.

Connect with Diane on her platforms:

Resources Diane recommends  on vulnerability:

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What vulnerability is.
  • The benefits of being vulnerable at work.
  • How empathy and compassion play a role in vulnerability.
  • How to handle those being vulnerable with you.
  • How lack of vulnerability can impact a culture.
  • How Brene Brown is wrong about Corridor Conversations and what to do about it.

“How I think about vulnerability is it is actually those moments where I’m entering a conversation or a podcast interview where I don’t know what the outcome will be but I’m just going to show up and be myself in that and trust that I will be OK even though it feels a bit uncomfortable.”

Diane Lloyd

FULL TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW

Russel Lolacher
And on the podcast today, it’s Diane Lloyd. And here is why she’s awesome. She’s the founder and head coach of the inspired results group. And she’s a certified executive coach and leadership coach, and dare to lead facilitator, then I like to jump into the Fun Facts Part where her background is in fundraising. She’s raised like $40 million, like a lot of money for you a museum, a university, a sports organization. Combined, it’s not 40 million per, but it’s a pretty crazy, huge number. Welcome to the show.

Diane Lloyd
Oh, that was a fun introduction, taking me back into some prior vulnerable experiences. Thank you for that.

Russel Lolacher
Oh, look at you already tagging into the key word of vulnerability, because that is, of course, the topic of conversation today. I’m excited to talk about this. And I’m going to try what better thing to do on a vulnerability episode than to completely mix up my platform that I’ve normally done on the show, and throw somebody new to answer a question I always ask at the end, I’m going to start from the beginning. So I don’t know if any of that made sense. But what I’m going to do is, Diane, I’m going to ask you a question, I normally wait till the end to ask what is the best or worst employee experience you’ve had in regards to vulnerability? sAnd I’ve heard a rumor that you might actually have a best and the worst.

Diane Lloyd
Don’t we all have our best and worst? Yeah, and so I can feel my heart fluttering a bit, like, Oh, we’re a little off script, we’re going about this a little bit differently. And this feels risky and uncertain. And that’s all the vulnerable things. So I’m going to dive in with maybe we’ll start with my worst employee experience, which may may ring true for some of your listeners. I had a leader, I was always very enthusiastic and I still am enthusiastic. And I would bring lots of ideas to my leaders, because my brain works that way. And I had a new leader, I’d come back from maternity leave, I was trying to find my way with her and brought what I thought was a really great idea. And she turned around and looked at me, and we were in her office. And she shook her finger in my face and said, That’s enough out of you. You’re not going to the board with that. “No. Hard No.” And it was so surprising and disempowering. And I just felt really diminished in that moment. So that that’s a memorable. Worst.

Russel Lolacher
I’m still echoing the whole…”That’s enough out of you.” Those are literally the words out of her mouth?

Diane Lloyd
Like the ideas that that’s enough, those that’s enough ideas from you. I don’t need your ideas. Basically. It was about my ideas. Yeah. It was harsh. It was harsh. And, you know,

Russel Lolacher
I love bad leaders, because they totally show you how to do it right.

Diane Lloyd
And well, and now that I’m so steeped in this Dare To Lead stuff, I can see that behavior from her was just her self protecting. Because I was…yeah, challenging her, I guess. It with my ideas. I just thought I was bringing great ideas. She felt really challenged and just armored up and sort of put me back in my place. Fair was how it felt. Yeah. So as you can imagine, not long after that I I left that organization and went to find a place that would value me and appreciate my ideas and give me some space to explore them. And is it okay, if I go to my best now

Russel Lolacher
Please do! Let’s cleanse the palate with a nice story.

Diane Lloyd
Yeah, let’s think about what, what we can do. And this is a fairly recent experience. But I have to say this is a group, a team I’m on. And I really wanted to impress these, this team, like I really wanted to contribute. I wanted to be seen as credible and know my stuff. And I got into this team and a whole bunch of stuff was going on in my personal life that was just really challenging. And so I remember coming into one of our team meetings and we’re working on diversity, equity inclusion initiatives, some really interesting and complex work. And we got into this team meeting and I, I just could not get into the topic and I just had to let the group know like, this is where I was last week. This is what I’m navigating and I’m just need to know I’m not feeling it my best and a bit distracted. And it felt vulnerable to share that with this group. I really wanted you know, I wanted to impress them. And I just spoke my truth and talked about it. What was going on for me and boom, around the group, there’s four of us on this team, everybody kind of shared, what had been going on for them. And this really quick kind of connection happened because we were all speaking our truth about what was going on. And then we, we kind of regrouped and got on with the task that we were meant to challenge or tackle in that meeting. But I’ll never forget that from that. From that meeting onward, this team kind of bonded at a deeper level. And we, we did some really great work together. And there was this trust that got created in that one meeting, because we all kind of got real with each other. And then we got on with doing the work together. And I just loved that experience. And it taught me a lot about not having to be perfect. And what I think people value about me is actually quite different than what they do value.

Russel Lolacher
Thank you for that. Now, in one of our first conversations, because we’ve talked before, before this podcast, actually on the topic of vulnerability, you told me that one of the most misunderstood things is vulnerability. So it might be a really good time, you know, at the beginning, which is to sort of set the baseline, what is vulnerability, Diane.

Diane Lloyd
Mm hm. This misunderstood concept, vulnerability, in the way I have come to understand it and navigate it is that Brene Brown talks about vulnerability as navigating risk, uncertainty, and emotional exposure. So it’s an emotion, we feel when we’re in situations where we can’t control the outcome is how I like to think about it. And so, vulnerability is misunderstood. We think of vulnerability as weakness. We hear that in the media a lot lately in a vulnerable populations. And people are vulnerable. So we immediately start to think of vulnerability as something wrong or broken in people. And what I, how I think about vulnerability is it’s actually those moments where I’m entering a conversation or a podcast interview, where I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I’m just going to show up and be myself in that. And trust that I will be okay, even though it feels a little bit uncomfortable.

Russel Lolacher
Well, I appreciate you bringing your vulnerability to the podcast today. Diane, thank you for that. So this is the workplace culture podcast, we’re about employee experience. So how do you feel vulnerability can show up in the workplace? Like, what does that look like?

Diane Lloyd
It looks like hour by hour, minute by minute as you navigate your work day. If we think of, well, let’s contextualize vulnerability for a second in, in the pandemic, like we have all been living through vulnerability for the past two years, everything, we haven’t been able to control the outcome, there’s been risk and uncertainty, our emotions have been at the surface. And our emotions have been exposed a lot over the last two years, so as a society, we’ve been in vulnerability. And then we layer on work every day, as we navigate relationships at work conversations, taking on projects, giving feedback, receiving feedback, all of those moments, there’s vulnerability in them. We’re all navigating vulnerability, every minute of every day. And, and so we can do vulnerability with some awareness for that vulnerable discomfort can get in our way and shut us down. And so that’s the, that’s the risk or the downside of vulnerability, when we don’t recognize that that’s what’s happening for us.

Russel Lolacher
You actually touched on something that I hadn’t really thought about, because I was coming at this podcast very much with the well, we need to be more vulnerable. We need to not be so concerned and turn on the vulnerability switch and see how that goes. And I’m not saying we’re not going to have that conversation because there is certainly something to understanding the importance and the strength and vulnerability and leaning into that. But what you touched on with the pandemic is that a lot of us are impacted by things outside of the workplace that are forcing us to be vulnerable. Whether it’s the illness of relatives, whether it’s the uncertainty of our work, and just if you have a job to go to, or working from home versus working in the office, being around your family, like there is so many new factors, that vulnerability is forced upon people, as they try to, I guess, navigate the unfamiliar. How are you finding that? As a new, I don’t know, realm, the Navigate I know, you’ve been trained in vulnerability, and sort of identifying in the workplace and so forth. But this is certainly a new lens that… that has not been really looked at before.

Diane Lloyd
Yeah, absolutely. And I think what you’re highlighting is that we, we may think of vulnerability, as oversharing, or I gotta, I need to tell you all my stuff and all my hard things and cry at work, and that that’s being vulnerable. A lot of people have a misconception that that’s what it is. And it’s not that actually, we need to navigate vulnerability with boundaries, and not overshare. And so there’s this fine line between not oversharing. But being seen and being ourselves, and being who we are in any given moment, is what I think about, and I think we’re all practicing that right now, as we are being asked to change once again, you know, now we’re in this new phase of potentially going back to the office, and I’m facing this myself, you know, out of the blue client asked if I would switch from an online facilitation, to an in person facilitation, like next week. And woof, I can feel the vulnerability kind of wash over me, because now I need to think, Okay, where’s the discomfort coming from? Because I do feel uncomfortable. So have to get curious with myself, like, what is that resistance? Is it just because it’s unfamiliar to be back in a room facilitating with people? Or is it something else? And I think that’s what we’re all navigating right now. Like, what is this discomfort I’m feeling? And that discomfort can shut us down, or some crappy behavior can come from that. Or we can get kind of curious about what actually is going on for me, and what do I need? And in this situation, you know, for my example, I emailed back and said, I just need a little bit more information. And I need some time to make a decision. I can’t give you an answer. In this moment, I needed to buy myself some time to figure out what do I actually want to do in this situation? Does that give any answer to your question?

Russel Lolacher
Absolutely. Absolutely. And as people are navigating, you know, having to be more vulnerable, or even learning to be vulnerable. What is the benefit of being vulnerable in the workplace? Because we’re having to be, so we might as well look at the good side of it.

Diane Lloyd
Yeah, exactly. And there is such a big upside. So when we’re willing to be seen and speak our truth, there’s this incredible, I call it like this chemistry that happens. So that team experience that I had, that was so positive for me was that the moment I kind of shifted in that meeting and showed up and spoke my truth and just got real about where I was at and what was going on in a boundaried way, I didn’t spend half an hour unloading my challenges, I just gave some high level, here’s what’s going on. I’m not at my best, I’m really committed to this group. But I just need to know how I’m doing today, when I demonstrated that truth telling authentic sort of showing up, it gave everybody else in the room, this signal that it was okay for them to show up that way too. So vulnerability sends this signal. It’s okay to be yourself. And when that happens, it’s just incredible. You can maybe think of a time when you’ve had that experience. And you can almost feel the exhale like it’s okay to be ourselves around here. And then we can get in to doing the work we need to do with trust in the air. Vulnerability creates trust, it creates connection and from connection. We feel trust. So I have found that in teams that I’m a part of when that vulnerability shows up. And it’s when it’s signaled from the leader, it’s even better because then it’s the leaders and this sending a signal to say, It’s okay to be yourself around here. If we build trust in this really beautiful organic way, and then the work can happen.

Russel Lolacher
And to stress that leader is not a position that can be absolutely anybody in the area that’s demonstrating what vulnerability might look like. You’ve you’ve really highlighted something for me around the connection that vulnerability provides. A little side note tangent here, I was a student in university where they over a period of I think it was a month, you were given a cohort, where there was a smaller group of the larger group, there were, I think, five smaller groups, you were assigned. You don’t know these people you’ve never met them before. And one of the first exercises we did was a Gregarian not or Gregorian, not, I’m not so good with the pronunciation on that one, some kind of fanciness, some kind of fancy, not where basically everybody held hands, but in sort of a jumble. And the whole point was, is that you were supposed to contort your bodies without letting go of your hands, to untie yourselves to become a circle where everybody’s still holding hands. Right. Now, every group did this. And every group succeeded at this, except my group, we were impossibly able to do this, there was no way and we’re doing this in front of the entire class, we are demonstrating the failure after failure of our ability to do something that seems very simple because everybody else seemed to be able to do it. We had and then that team, okay, so we never were successful. But that team, that group that we failed together, publicly, gloriously became one of the most tight knit successful purpose driven teams I have ever been on in my history in professional or, you know, educational, it was just that whole bonding experience of vulnerability actually inspired us and connected us in ways that I’ve never ever felt since.

Diane Lloyd
Okay, that is a great story. And so when you look, was it the sort of failing and public piece that bonded you?

Russel Lolacher
Yeah, it was the fact that we couldn’t do what everybody else obviously good. We were in it together. It was this survival of the lamest, I guess. We were Yeah, we just we couldn’t get it done. We acknowledged we couldn’t get it done. We just gave up rather than because everybody else is like, we have to go home. Like we just can’t sit here and watch you guys trying to do this. And it became comical to us. And then we had sort of like our own little war story. And after that we just built from that common, you know, that commonality of failure and it became a strength. Yeah, that’s such a great example of vulnerability, and being in that vulnerability together, but not shitting on each other over it. But but sticking with it, and coming out the other side of that kind of intact in the relationships, it just strengthened. Yes. Your relationship with trust?

Diane Lloyd
Oh, I love that story.

Russel Lolacher
And years and years beyond that university experience, we were always closer together. And it just, that was our sort of make or break moment for us. So yeah, vulnerability, and the connection that it can bring is so good. But say for example, you’re at work, or your university, and there’s somebody that is being vulnerable. How can you tell that somebody is trying to be vulnerable with you? Is there like a red flag that goes up like that goes on? Like, what is an easy way of noticing if somebody is trying to be vulnerable with you, because it’s not easy for everybody to identify?

Diane Lloyd
In general, we need to see people see each other more and listen more, and just show up in relationships and in conversations, whether they’re trying to be vulnerable or, or trying to be protected. Either way, I think we just need to see each other more. And listen more and ask more questions. And kind of get out of our own discomfort about how we’re feeling in that moment and be willing to put our own stuff aside and just really see each other, especially right now. Basically, it’s about them not about you. So get over it and get to know the people around you. Yeah, and I think that’s over time. I’ve I’ve had lots of time to practice this with coaching, obviously. But I’ve really learned that so much of the relationship building and trust building and vulnerability is that we need to self manage our own reactions or responses. So if someone’s sharing something that’s hard, I could get, you know, really freaked out it almost from a perspective of oh my gosh, what what do I say? What’s the right thing to say? How do I make them feel better? How do I fix this, and we can’t actually fix it. And there isn’t the perfect thing to say. But if we stay in that conversation, from a place of empathy, where we’re curious, we let them know, I’m sticking with you. I want to learn more, say more like some simple things that we can do to let to signal to that person, I’m staying connected. I’m not judging you. I’m curious about you, and what’s going on for you. By then that discomfort, we can kind of shut down and check out. And we need to pay attention to that right now.

Russel Lolacher
So you mentioned empathy. And that’s definitely an area I want to dig into. How is empathy and for that matter, compassion? Because there’s a lot of conversations I’ve seen in articles being written about the differences between the two. So I’m curious how they show up in vulnerability, or either as the person that’s being vulnerable, or the one that’s trying to connect with that vulnerability.

Diane Lloyd
Yeah, so they mean, they’re two complementary concepts. I guess, the way I’ll answer that, and the way I try to practice it is when I think about a compassionate stance is when I’m releasing any judgment, and really bringing my heart to the conversation. And empathy is more of a behavior of listening, communicating, you know, I see you I can sense that this is challenging. I’ve been there before. What do you need from from me in this moment? What would be supportive for you? So there’s some action in the empathy. And it’s energetically judgment free and heart centered from a compassionate place. So that’s how I think there’s lots of different definitions, as you say. That’s how I tried to practice it, because it’s, it’s important, but it’s very nuanced. And in empathy, we can get it wrong so easily. And I’ve gotten it wrong a gazillion times. Because I got so worked up trying to think of like, what’s the perfect thing to say right now, that sometimes I wouldn’t say anything, I would disengage, or I’d fumble around. Or I just say something kind of random and ineffective. And I’ve just really learned to be more curious and, and less worried about me like no ego, I guess there’s there. I’ve never said that before, but there’s really no ego in empathy. There you go.

Russel Lolacher
Well, that makes a lot of sense that you approach it with? Well, actually, you’ve kind of mentioned it, which was heart centered. What does that mean?

Diane Lloyd
It means I’m willing to feel alongside of you. Rather than think my way through it, is how I think of those two things. So if I’m being compassionate, it’s like, Oh, I’m gonna really feel this with you. Rather than think about it with you, or come at it from a cognitive place, I’m going to come at it from a truly Yeah, emotional feeling place.

Russel Lolacher
And that makes sense to remove the ego if your heart centered, as I’m just I’m sort of processing this. If you’re removing the ego out of it, and you’re leading with your heart, ego I feel always comes from the brain. It comes from the measuring stick of how I’m better than others, or my power or my success, or I don’t have your problems, and I feel that comes more mentally than it does coming from that empathy, that heart centered place. So I really liked the idea of just sort of calling it heart centered and just hoping there’s no ego in it.

Diane Lloyd
Yeah, no ego, no, perfect. I think I think of ego and perfection, as really tightly tied together and there is no perfection in in an empathetic response. It’s a human response. It’s human to human, I guess is another way to think about herbs, heart centered, a human response.

Russel Lolacher
So what kind of culture is supportive of this kind of talk, Diane, I mean…

Diane Lloyd
Yeah! Where is this place!?

Russel Lolacher
Yeah, exactly. I mean, we’re talking about this human heart centered, vulnerable connection… I’ve heard the term people-first, I love it as an idea. But what kind of cultures do you find are much more in line with vulnerability.

Diane Lloyd
When my brain is, is still hooked here in wanting to make sure that we’re clear about the fact that human centered cultures, heart led leaders are also performance oriented leaders like these are not mutually exclusive concepts. And I think it’s really important to tie those things together. Because sometimes people think, Oh, this really human centered heart led culture somehow isn’t getting shit done. And it absolutely people get work done. And they in fact, thrive. Because of that heart centered leadership. So I just wanted to make sure that we’re not assuming these things are mutually exclusive, they absolutely go together. And that you’re asking that so the type of culture that will I think, welcome vulnerability, are cultures where, you know, being curious, first, is the mindset, rather than being perfect or knowing all the answers first. It’s a big question like what kinds of cultures I think it’s like, what kind of people are showing up to create that culture is where my brain wants to go to kind of bring this down to practical, a practical context. It’s like, what kinds of behaviors are people demonstrating in cultures where vulnerability is welcomed, and a vulnerability is risk and uncertainty and being seen for who we are, then, then we need to show up as people willing to listen, willing to ask more than we tell. And then to bring this compassion, empathy. And finally, a lot of the work I’ve been doing lately, I’ve really appreciating that we need clarity. It’s just a whole nother riff to talk about some neuroscience stuff. But the research I’ve just seen from Gallup about that says 50% of employees don’t know what’s expected of them at work. So that means half of us don’t know what’s expected, and half of us do. And if if half of us don’t know what’s expected at work, we are not going to be comfortable with vulnerability, or we’re going to armor up there’s just a lot of negative behavior that happens when people aren’t clear with us about what’s expected. So it’s just another way of saying that vulnerability is also about leaders being clear about what’s expected. And as a leader, myself, this is something I’m practicing, sometimes it feels a little risky to give clear direction to the people that work for me. And even though I’m a little bit uncomfortable doing that, it’s actually the kindest thing I can do. Because then they know what, what success looks like for them when they can meet the clear expectations that I’ve laid down. And the act of asking for clarity from your boss, to say, I’m actually not really clear on what you’re asking for right now, or what this project is supposed to look like. That’s vulnerable to ask your boss for more clarity. So cultures where it’s okay to ask for clarity, to seek out those kinds of conversations. That’s what we need more of. I think too many people are running around like overworking, hoping they they hit the mark, because they’re too nervous to actually ask for five minutes to get clear on what the mark looks like.

Russel Lolacher
So that actually makes me want to ask the question, what does a lack of vulnerability do to a culture?

Diane Lloyd
Oh, a lack of vulnerability is like, no, well, no connection between people. But it also looks like no creativity, and no innovation and no trying new things. And it might I do think it looks like overworking because we just hope we can sort of outperform and somebody will like what we’re doing, again, rather than just asking for clarity and doing exactly the thing you’re supposed to do instead of 10 extra things hoping you’re going to make somebody happy somewhere. And there’s so much burnout going on right now. And I think that is because we’re avoiding some conversations, rather than stepping into vulnerability, asking for clarity, setting boundaries, setting boundaries is super vulnerable. And all of these I call them courageous behaviours day to day are what we want to normalize, I guess in cultures to come back to that.

Russel Lolacher
What are some steps I can take to be more vulnerable? What advice would you give me?

Diane Lloyd
So being more vulnerable means getting comfortable with the discomfort of it is one tip, I would say. So getting comfortable with the discomfort of stepping into a risky conversation, or speaking your truth about how you are or what you need, or putting your hand up and actually letting people know what your opinion is about a project or a decision, that might be a very different opinion than the rest of the group. So those moments are uncomfortable, and my encouragement for all of us is to see that discomfort, feel that discomfort and do it anyway. And if the pandemic has given us, it’s given us some gifts, as much as it’s given us challenges, it’s definitely given us lots of opportunity to be uncomfortable, and learn, I think, for the most part, that we can come through that discomfort, and, and we’re okay. And in fact, we’ve learned something about ourselves, as we’ve sat in that discomfort.

Russel Lolacher
I want to touch on the Dare To Lead side of things, though, because as, as someone who’s taken the Dare To Lead course, there was a piece from Brene Brown that I kind of called bullshit on. And I just wanted to sort of ask you about it.

Diane Lloyd
Haha. Let’s call bullshit on it together.

Russel Lolacher
Sure. Well, it lends to vulnerability and what you were talking about that whole, you know, raise your hand and a meeting and that sort of thing. Brene talks about how she hates, I think she calls them hallway conversation or corridor conversations, where someone will have a meeting. And then the minute they walk out of that meeting, they immediately talk or turn to somebody they trust or a colleague, and we’ll say all the things that they have a problem with, have that was in the meeting? You know, that was dumb, we should have done this, why didn’t nobody bring this up? And Brene says, I don’t want to hear it, you should have said it in the meeting. And my thought was Brene, where the fuck do you work, because there are a lot of meeting rooms that are not comfortable, safe places for people to raise their hand and be vulnerable in those situations. I get the vulnerability, I hear what you’re saying, as somebody who is comfortable raising their hand in meetings. But I also have a hell of a lot of privilege behind me when it comes to being able to do that and that other people do not have. So for someone that is wanting to be more vulnerable, but doesn’t feel that they can raise their hand in meetings, or challenge authority, or that sort of thing. What advice would you give them?

Diane Lloyd
Yeah, that’s a really good point and the acknowledging the privilege and…um.. I’m going to approach this question from two perspectives. One is as leaders to ensure that we’re creating space for all voices and opinions, we do need to get creative and not always have it be in a meeting where the extroverts or the quick thinkers kind of win the day because they’ll say the thing. But what are some other ways that we can invite some participation that might not be verbal, and might be a you know, a survey or a form, send us your ideas outside of the meeting, kind of a strategy. And that’s something I’ve been playing with to think about other ways to bring ideas into dialogue that isn’t verbal, and isn’t in the moment. The other thing I would encourage the individual who has an opinion, is to find other avenues or other advocates or allies that you can sit with after the meeting. So we can call bullshit on that. Let’s find a productive way to do that. To pull a trusted colleague aside and share your opinion talk about whatever you think needs to be said in that meeting. And then not outsourcing that your voice but maybe co creating with that person. What could be some ways to bring this perspective back into that conversation. You may decide after you’ve talked to your ally, okay, actually, I do want to go back in and, and use my own voice or the discussion might lead to, you’re going to do it together, or they’re going to do it on your behalf. But I think we need to find our allies at work and kind of leverage those relationships.

Russel Lolacher
I love that you’re talking about vulnerability can be one on one first, before you start throwing yourself to the possible wolves have a meeting of you know, 5, 10, 20 people. Start that vulnerability on a one on one basis and build from there.

Diane Lloyd
Yeah, well said. Yeah, exactly.

Russel Lolacher
You facilitate and you work with people about identifying vulnerability and having these conversations. I can’t even imagine having had this conversation five years ago. It’s become such an I’m maybe it is just the pandemic in the last two years. But why do you think vulnerability, especially in the work environment, has become such… I don’t want to say a hot topic, but certainly a much more invested one.

Diane Lloyd
Yeah, yeah, for sure it is. And I think there’s, if we want to just think about vulnerability as humanity at work, if we could just swap out vulnerability for being human at work, that I am going to credit, the millennial generation for really asking for that at work. And, you know, the GenXers (me) and Boomers, so we, we’ve needed to respond to that. So I just think that people aren’t willing to leave their humaneness at home, they want to bring their humanists into the workplace. So I think that need was already building and then the pandemic just kind of cracked that wide open. So now all of our humaneness is showing up at work, because we’re working at home for one thing that really opened the doors to who are you as a person. And I think now we realize that when we have that human connection, then we can just, you know, grind through the tasks and get shit done. at a faster pace with higher trust, and maybe just more more fun, because we’re actually connected to real people at work rather than robots, or, you know, task oriented. Everything. I think, I think we just want this as people and the time has come for humaneness at work to be the norm.

Russel Lolacher
I love that you highlighted the millennials. I think it was Scott Stratten, who said that millennials aren’t entitled they just don’t want to put up with the bullshit that we’ve been putting up with for years.

Diane Lloyd
Exactly,

Russel Lolacher
I’m jealous. I don’t want to go to “stupid” meetings either. I love that. They ask why. And what’s the value? And why do I have to do that? So they’re curious, they ask questions. I wish I was as brave sometimes as I’ve heard some from a my millennial counterparts?

Diane Lloyd
Absolutely. You know, I haven’t asked you any questions, which is normally my thing. And I’m just realizing, wow, this was a lot of talking for me that I’m not used to. How does vulnerability show up in your leadership now?

Russel Lolacher
How does it show up in my leadership?

Diane Lloyd
Yeah, yeah

Russel Lolacher
I don’t have… my thing is I don’t think I have, this is a bad thing to say is I was gonna say, I don’t have any boundaries. And that’s not true. We all have boundaries. But I think I’m much more open to my personal challenges in talking about the impact they have on my work. You know, I’ve talked about friends of mine who are going through mental illness, not identifying not revealing their, their privacy or anything, but talking about how you know what I’m kindof off today, I’m dealing with some personal things, because of some impacts that has happened. I’m not digging into it. I’m not giving any more information than that. But I need you to understand that I’m not at the top of my game. I’m here, I’m here for you. But I’m not my full self today. I’ll probably be better tomorrow. So it’s things like that, where I’ve been much more open and honest about me personally as a human being rather than as a position on a hierarchy.

Diane Lloyd
And how do people respond when you communicate in that way?

Russel Lolacher
Very well, I’ve so I am I’ve had the same team in my organization for 11 years. Same. All the same staff. And, and it comes a lot from the fact that we trust each other. We like each other as human beings. We’ve got each other’s back. There’s so much trust, but it comes from knowing each other as human beings, as people…As people with spouses and partners and children and you know, over 11 years, so it’s very welcomed, I learn probably far more from them than they’ve ever learned from me on how to connect with other people. So it’s, yeah, it is rewarding as anything else, I think, when you’re that vulnerable and build that connection with other people. So yeah, I say it’s one of the most valuable things I’ve ever done is being vulnerable at work.

Diane Lloyd
Nice. And you know, what I think is inspiring now is that we don’t have to wait 11 years to build those relationships, we can build them quicker, or, you know, show up with vulnerability to get to what the level you’ve enjoyed. Now, after this runway, I think we can get there quicker. With our, like you say vulnerability is more normalized. Now, easy to say, maybe harder to practice. But if it’s normalized, like wouldn’t it be great if we could build high trust teams like yours? Like in a year or two instead of a decade?

Russel Lolacher
Absolutely. And, and to be fair, it didn’t take us 11 years to build the trust

Diane Lloyd
OH I know I know, yeah.

Russel Lolacher
We got it pretty early out of the gate. But yeah.

Diane Lloyd
We all want a team like you’ve got and so I just want to give people the inspiration to dig into this vulnerability stuff, practice it and play with it and sit in the discomfort of it. You starting a podcast is also a vulnerable act.

Russel Lolacher
Way to get out there and get judged. Huh?

Diane Lloyd
Yeah, risk and uncertainty.

Russel Lolacher
Absolutely. I want to I want to wrap it up by asking you two more questions. One is, what are your three favorite resources? And, when it comes to vulnerability, and no, I’m not letting you pick Brene Brown’s Dare To Lead. Things that you’ve sort of jumped out at you going “This is what I mean, when I’m talking about vulnerability.”

Diane Lloyd
And you’re taking Brene Brown Dare To Lead off the table.

Russel Lolacher
It’s too obvious. Too obvious.

Diane Lloyd
I really, I really like the book, The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle. That’s a great resource. I think Kristen Neff’s work on self compassion is really important right now. So I would put to Kristen Neff’s Self Compassion on that list. I’m going to point to Amy Edmondson’s work, which is she’s more about psychological safety, but it’s all connected there. So I do think she’s another great author to follow The Fearless Organization as a book. Yeah,

Russel Lolacher
I will put all links to all things in the show notes. So for everybody that’s listening relationshipsatwork.ca under Diane Lloyd’s podcast, the show notes here. I will put them all there so you can find it yourself. Diane, the last question of the podcast all for you, which is, what is one simple action people can do right now to improve their relationships at work?

Diane Lloyd
Listen. Listen to people. Do that. And it’ll be a game changer.

Russel Lolacher
It’ll help your vulnerability and assurance hell will help their vulnerability for sure.

Diane Lloyd
100%. Yes, thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to dig into a topic that’s often misunderstood, but can be such a game changer. So thank you for being brave enough to invite me on.

Russel Lolacher
And thank you for being brave enough to be in the hot seat of getting all the questions rather than being the one that asks them,

Diane Lloyd
Indeed! Some discomfort in that and that’s okay.

Russel Lolacher
Thank you very much, Diane. It is always a pleasure. You’ve been a delight.

Diane Lloyd
Thanks, Russel. Take care

 

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