A few years ago I had the opportunity of visiting with an old mentor. I was in his town on business and he invited me to drop by his home for breakfast. As his lovely wife was preparing a scrumptious meal for us to enjoy, I inquired how things were going for him. He told me about his demanding workload, his aspirations for the future and his wonderful family. This wise man, my counselor and advisor, was very much on the move and in control. Then his wife stepped in. Overhearing our conversation she asked, “Why don’t you tell him how you are really doing?” Suddenly, as if caught in a shameful act, his countenance shifted, his speech slowed and he began to tell me about some of the financial troubles they were enduring. It was a humbling moment for the teacher to be so transparent and vulnerable to someone, who for so long, was his student. Yet, a remarkable transformation in our relationship took place that day. His noble act of vulnerability and humility put both of us at ease to speak freely of the troubling things in our lives. By entrusting his secrets to me, he demonstrated that I was important in his life too. In a world, where “How are you doing?” responses are often “busy and great,” it’s refreshing to experience the honesty borne of humility.
Your thoughts? What are some of the barriers that keep you from being vulnerable with others?