Exploring Our Vulnerabilities

June 2003

In my work with clients, I often have the privilege of helping a client uncover, understand, and address those areas where success eludes them. Although clients often come to me as a result of something not working in their professional lives, we generally start with looking at their strengths. It is only after developing a strong degree of trust do I venture into the areas of weakness with a client. I do so with great respect, care, and even tenderness.

My clients are successful people, each with many strengths. Yet when I work with those very same people, the leaders and the truly powerful ones, I generally find that they are the ones most in touch with their own shortcomings. I recently came across this same concept in an interview of Gruffie Clough (mountaineer, Outward Bound instructor, community development worker): “People who are truly powerful, who do truly amazing things in life, are the ones that recognize their weaknesses. They are far more aware of how they are vulnerable. Far more aware of what they are frightened of.” It is Ms. Clough’s belief that once we deal with our vulnerabilities, those issues don’t scare us anymore, and we are freer to go about our business.

What I try to provide for my clients is a safe place to explore their weaknesses, in an open, supportive, and accepting environment. Today’s business world can be scary, intimidating, and sometimes overwhelming. We need the space, time, and perspective to take a step back, see what is really important, and understand what is holding us back. It is being honest with ourselves, and not letting things we cannot change cause us to lose either our courage or our focus on what is important. It is identifying our weaknesses, dealing with our vulnerabilities, and not being afraid to let go of the illusion of having it all together.

What are your weaknesses? How do you deal with your vulnerabilities in the work world? If I can serve you as you explore these questions, please ask. Have a great month.

Sharon Keys Seal

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