Hi Team,

This week I have set myself an ambitious task of trying to explore the role of vulnerability in the workplace and specifically in the male dominated domain of building.

Last week I attempted to show the advantages of expressing your feelings and emotions in your personal and professional relationships. In summary, I believe you will always have better connections and relationships with people if you allow yourself to be vulnerable and show people the real you.

Three years ago I would not have been writing about this topic. But the last few years have changed everything especially when it comes to the topic of mental health. Vulnerability (the expression of your true feelings and emotions) has been called "the psychological tree of life from which everything grows". Being able to recognize and express your feelings and emotions starts with self-awareness and self-acceptance. In other words, by acknowledging and being open about your own strengths and weaknesses and by showing other people who you really are (letting others see behind the curtain).

The Covid pandemic has made us all more vulnerable, physically and emotionally.
The global health crisis has changed how we work and how we socialize and how we relate to others.
Mental health is the main topic of conversation and vulnerability is a key part of good mental health.
For the first time ever, mental health is a topic of conversation on building sites and in smoko sheds.

"Vulnerability is at the core of human experiences" Brene Brown

For me the key to allowing myself to be vulnerable and emotionally open with other people was the realization that vulnerability shows my strength and not my weakness. It takes real courage to show people who you really are, to show your "authentic self". This is still not easy or natural for me, but the more I let down my guard and show a little emotion the easier it slowly becomes. 

Brene Brown is the queen of vulnerability. She is the author of numerous bestselling books about vulnerability, she has the most watched Ted Talk in history (The Power of Vulnerability = 56 million views) and is the host of the podcast "Unlocking Us". Below are Brene's tips for accessing your vulnerability (adapted to the building workplace).

  1. Admit you suck at something. Letting other tradesman know that you have never done something before, or you don't know how to do something is the best way to turn a negative into a positive.
  2. Take reasonability instead of blaming others. The worst thing a tradesman can do is try to cover up their mistakes, they always get discovered eventually.
  3. Call out offensive behaviour. Insensitive or small-minded behaviour is never okay even when it's between the boys.
  4. Tell someone you appreciate or admire what they do. Everyone likes to get positive feedback and telling someone they do a great job makes you feel good as well, it's all win win.
  5. Be true to who you are. Vulnerability is not a tactic it only works if you be yourself. It's okay to not like rock music on a building site.

"Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change" Brene Brown.

Thanks for being vulnerable enough to read all this.
Stay safe.

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