“We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk.”
Openness implies vulnerability. To make oneself vulnerable to another person means that you are choosing to let them have access to stuff that perhaps you don’t even want to admit to yourself. But how do you grow if you don’t open yourself to others? How do you ensure that you have real perspective if you don’t have people who are willing to call you out when needed?
The old paradigm of leadership said that the leader had to be bulletproof. They can not show any vulnerability to those who worked for him or her. But if you aren’t vulnerable you aren’t building trust. I’d argue the exact opposite is true to be an effective servant of others. Be vulnerable. Show those that you that you work for and have the privilege to serve, that you trust them by being open and real. In turn you are making it safe for them to do the same. That’s how trust is built.
Easier said than done of course. But it starts small with one person and with a single conversation. Think about it this way. What kind of relationships do you want to have developed and fostered five years from now? Those built on openness and trust or those that maintain the status quo?