We recently did a filming engagement with Keith Ferrazzi and of all his key insights and ideas, one struck me the most. Keith encourages the concept of leading with vulnerability when establishing a new relationship or deepening an existing relationship. Ever feel as if you’ve worked side by side with someone for years and you’re still not sure you really know them? Everyone has these kinds of relationships with variable depth and perhaps the first inclination is to ask more questions, probe more deeply, you know – try to get them to open up. Keith’s advice is the opposite – he says lead with vulnerability. Share something important, profound, memorable to you, and by doing so you’ll inspire empathy, familiarity and understanding.
Here is a rap I wrote about some of Keith’s ideas – enjoy! This is also a build on a previous post about Susan Scott and her mantra ‘the conversation is the relationship.’ She has an amusing illustration about a young couple. One day the newly-wed wife approaches her husband and wants to address a number of issues and concerns she feels outstanding. He listens intently and pledges to change his behaviors, his habits to be more accommodating. Time goes by, and she approaches him again and wants to talk. Again he listens closely and hears the same concerns and says abruptly, “We’ve already been through that!” and promptly changes the conversation. Over time, she initiates a similar conversation and he responds with the same response about how he already fixed that and it’s time to move on. She feels ignored and he feels like she didn’t recognize his initial efforts. Until one day he understands the conversation is the relationship. It’s every day, in every interaction, that the relationship takes place. As Susan Scott learned in The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway, he realizes that his understanding came gradually, gradually, then suddenly.