Love as a Vulnerability Strategy

EPISODE 20

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Vulnerability is scary, but in the workplace, it's often unheard of. In this episode, we unpack how being vulnerable with your teams will unlock potential and also foster humanity within your organization.   

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Feel the love! We aren't experts - we're practitioners. With a passion that's a mix of equal parts strategy and love, we explore the human (and fun) side of work and business every week together.

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Jeff Ma
Director

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MohProfile

Mohammad Anwar
President

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ChrisProfile

Chris Pitre
Vice President

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frank_danna

Frank Danna
Director

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Transcript

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Jeff Ma
Hello, and welcome to Love as a Business Strategy, a podcast that brings humanity to the workplace. We're here to talk about business. But we want to tackle topics that most business leaders shy away from. We believe that humanity and love should be at the center of every successful business. I'm your host, Jeff Ma. I'm a director at Softway, an agency based out of Houston, Texas that specializes in digital transformation, culture and branding. Each episode, we dive into a single element of business or strategy, and test our theory of love against it. And we've got a doozy of a topic today. If you're on the video, you can already see everyone's nervous faces. We're talking about vulnerability. And it's become quite the buzzword for many and more and more people out in the world are starting to understand this concept at some level. But what does this have to do with business? Is there any place for vulnerability in the workplace? And what would that even look like? I'm joined today by probably the three people in my life outside of my family that I'm most vulnerable with. And that would be Mohammad Anwar, President and CEO of Softway. Hey, Moh.

Mohammad Anwar
Hey, guys.

Jeff Ma
Chris Pitre, Vice President. Hey, Chris.

Chris Pitre
Hello, you all.

Jeff Ma
And Frank Danna, Director at Softway.

Frank Danna
Hey, y'all.

Jeff Ma
So we always do icebreakers. I thought, in the spirit of vulnerability, I thought I'd ask some more vulnerable questions, if you will, to start us off. Let's start with Ooh, Mohammad.

Mohammad Anwar
Oh, no. Okay.

Jeff Ma
Moh, what failure have you learned the most from in your life?

Mohammad Anwar
Well, I would say the failure to lead this company the right way. A few years ago, I had pretty much taken the company down to the ground. And we were about to go bankrupt. And there were like, a lot of different elements that were just not right. And I was failing as a leader. And I was not being the leader I needed to be for the company, at Softway. And that failure of having to let go of people as in I had to layoff people, almost one hundred employees. And that, to me, was the biggest failure in my career of leading a company. And I had been leading the company at that point in time for almost 13 years. And that one incident, which was a true failure on my part, where I couldn't, I could have avoided it, was probably the biggest, life changing failure that I've had to experience. But I looking back at it. I mean, while the incident in the moment in time wasn't good, and the result wasn't good, I think it has taught me the most, how to be a leader, inside of work and even outside of work. It's changed how I think and how I behave and how I operate. It's had such a big life changing experience for me, in a positive way.

Jeff Ma
Thank you for sharing that. Frank. If you can give one sentence, one sentence advice about how to live life. What would it be?

Frank Danna
There is no box. So about nine or 10 years ago, I worked with my dad, and he founded a little tech startup making mobile apps here in Houston. That's how I got to know Mohammad. I've known him for like 13, 12, 13 years long time. And one day, I walked into my dad's office, and he would randomly just call me in there because he just wanted to chat or something. And he was a very eclectic individual. And he took a sticky note and wrote, there is no box, and then like, shoved the sticky note on my hand. And I was like, what, why? Why did you? What does this mean? And he said, Frank, when I look at you, I don't see a box. I don't see anything you can't overcome. And I'm proud of you. And I remember that kind of being like, the first time that he had like, vocalized that he was proud of me to my face. And I walked back in my office. I started to cry because I was like, I didn't understand like, what it just came out of nowhere if you can imagine. And I started to understand how valuable that statement was, as I got older, and as I started seeing opportunities to lead people and to manage people. And I recognize that if there's one sentence that I would tell people how to live their life is there is no box, there is nothing that can hold any of us back. And that's, that's at least what I want to do for humanity is to help people see the opportunities that they have, with what they've been created to do in their lives. And I know that there's a lot of stuff happening in the world right now. But recognizing that for you, there is no box, I think, is something that, that I would say, that's, that's how I would want people to live their lives. And that's the one statement that I would make.

Jeff Ma
Thanks, Frank. Chris, what is the most important thing to you in life?

Chris Pitre
I think for me, the most important thing is I'm going to say the wisdom that I have been given, and I'll sort of unpack that. But over my entire life, I have been in the privileged seat to be able to get into places where maybe others wouldn't naturally get into. Like, so just to give you an example, my dad was a pastor of a church. And being a pastor's son, I was always in earshot of just about every conversation, where people were looking for his advice or guidance or whatnot. And I was able to listen to what he would say, right? Fast forward to college, I had the chance to work at the senior vice president's office of the university, and in that office, were are all of his assistant vice presidents, and you just in that setting, you are exposed to all of the conversations, the politics, the things that happen behind closed doors that you know, as a student, or even as just faculty, in general staff, you don't get that kind of exposure or insight into. Fast forward to getting into the working world where the chief sales officer takes me under her wing and brings me to meetings where I'm not invited, so I can listen in. It's when I look back over my life, those opportunities to learn and glean insight and hear the way other people handle their affairs and their situations and their, you know, lives. It's given me so much, so much opportunity to really not just keep it for myself, but to also try and share it to those who were not in those places, and spaces and tables, but also to to help others overcome the things that I've seen so many people in my past not be able to overcome, right? And so for me, wisdom is something that I cherish.

Jeff Ma
Awesome, thank you. So why did I ask these questions, specifically? We have an episode about vulnerability. So, why don't we start before getting into that. What is vulnerability, I will pick on Frank to start us off here.

Frank Danna
So what we did just now is we got emotionally vulnerable with each other, when we were willing to share something or expose something about ourselves in a very honest way. And that type of vulnerability requires that you let your guard down, that you take off all the armor that you may have put on the perspective that you want other people to see you by, and you're you, wholly. And when you're that, in that vulnerable state, you're susceptible to the judgment, and the jeering, and the gossip or anything else that could come by way of you being exposed from an emotional perspective. And so, in that way, you know, we've we've showcased one facet of vulnerability, but vulnerability doesn't just mean emotional exposure, right? Vulnerability is when you are simply willing to be more honest and more open about any situation. And and it can be inside and outside of work. But I think the example that we're trying to show is that when you're able to be vulnerable, even in this type of context, I learned something new about my colleagues just now. Even though I've, I've, I've lived through Mohammad's story, I still learned a new perspective, a new a new component of that story. And knowing Chris, I see the output and success of that wisdom coming through and the way he handles himself the way he communicates, the way he lives his life as a leader. And so it's able to give me more understanding, it's, that's the great connector. Vulnerability is the great connector.

Jeff Ma
I think a very, I guess, a little more mainstream popular, kind of advocate for vulnerability is Brene Brown. I think a lot of people have heard of her works. She defines vulnerability, as you know, uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. And I think, well, we also use that definition for a lot of things when it comes to our work environment. So to kind of break in this topic from a Love as a Business Strategy perspective. What does, what place does vulnerability have in the workplace?

Chris Pitre
I think my, my stance on this is that when leaders are truly vulnerable, right, and I'll be the first one to tell you that I did not translate vulnerability into tears and drama. I look at vulnerability as again, when you talk about emotional exposure, exposure sharing, again, what is really happening on the inside as a leader, what you're doubting, what you have questions of what what's triggering you even, right? And to do so in a way that allows others to understand, perhaps why you might not be the most excited in a moment, or why you are extremely excited in a moment, right? And when you as a leader are tapping into that vulnerability, it unlocks that inspiration, that motivation, and that, you know, that loyalty that you're looking for from employees, because when they see that leader, as approachable, fallible, human, you know, someone who's also trying to navigate this thing called life, it actually, you know, gives them the ability to sort of just, you know, relax their shoulders a little bit more, because perfection is no one's game, like, there's no such thing as being a perfect person, a perfect leader. And that vulnerability allows for people to see that, that the veneer that some, some people have, perhaps towards leadership is not true. It's not real. We have all sorts of emotions, just like anybody else. You know, we all have trials and things that are happening in our lives. And, you know, holding it all together is impossible, at every moment of the day, right, like, you know, sometimes my life is not together. And, you know, while that is a hard thing to articulate to people who are looking to you for answers, or direction or guidance or stability, right? To be able to say like, while yes, I want to be there for you, and all of those things and give you those things. There are certain times where I just don't know the answer, right? It's my job to go and find the answer. But I'm hoping that we can find it together. But, you know, that takes, you know, not just a vulnerable leader, but also an accepting team.

Frank Danna
I wanted to I'm interested, I wanted to ask Mohammad, what, what is the easiest way for leaders to be vulnerable? Like, in your opinion, how would you say for people, like especially Chris was like, no tears, right? Or tears and limited engagemen on the tear side of things. What would you say would be the alternative to that? If we're saying if we're talking about vulnerability as part of Love as a Business Strategy?

Mohammad Anwar
Sure. Like from a leader standpoint, it's as simple as just taking ownership and apologizing. The most difficult thing that I think leaders face in their career is trying to be perfect trying to be right all the time. And when you're at this position of leadership, there's something about ego and you know, how you reach that, you know, stage in your career, and you must have done something right to get there. I'm sure I'm sure all leaders do some things that are notable. That's what gets them to those positions. But if you're unable to recognize that you can be wrong, and admit that in front of your co-workers and your team members in an open, just acknowledgement way of saying you know what, I messed up. You're right. I apologize. It's as simple as that, Frank. Nothing more. Just taking ownership and apologizing is probably the most simplest way of being vulnerable, but yet one of the most powerful way of being courageous and strong in front of your team.

Frank Danna
Yeah, so I was gonna say why, why is that powerful, though? Like, why is the ability to admit your mistakes a powerful thing?

Mohammad Anwar
I think at that very moment in time, when you are able to show to your team, that it's okay to be wrong, it's okay that to fail, it's okay to make mistakes. Like Chris mentioned, the relief it has on your team, to strive to this perfection is that burden is kind of released, and they're like, Oh, my leader is human, just like me, and if my leader is demonstrating it's okay to be wrong at times, then you know what, I'm going to be, I feel more comfortable doing the same, not because I want to fail. But I know that if I fail trying, it's okay. It's okay. And it's acceptable, because my leader can have the same challenges as I, and that helps me, you know, have more trust and empathy towards the leader. But also, it's going to drive you to try more things, take more risks, and it's okay to try and fail, but not trying anything, because of the fear of failure is kind of lifted when a leader does that.

Jeff Ma
When I look at, when I think of vulnerability, you know, we talk a lot, obviously, in our line of work, we talk a lot about the leader's role in vulnerability, which is absolutely key and critical. I also look at vulnerability as this kind of this, this element that permeates the entire organization at times. And you have this, you know, in my mind, it's like this vulnerability level. And I know that's not a real thing, it's not necessarily measurable. But when you walk into when I walk into a room with one team versus another team, when you enter a room, I personally get the sense of like this level of vulnerability, it shows up in how we speak to one another how we joke or how we don't joke, or how much space we give each other when it's, you know, all these little nuanced things come from the relationship that we have, even if it's a group of 10 people, what's the what's every one to one relationship in that room look like. And, to me, that's, that sums up this culture, like the role of vulnerability in a culture because a leader absolutely is obviously we've said time and time again, a leader builds or breaks culture. And so it starts with a leader. But I'm often reminded of the role that vulnerability plays not just from a leader, you know, admitting to mistakes and things like that, which is obviously key. But how how much emphasis the culture puts in an organization on people caring about one another at a human at a human level, which builds that vulnerable relationship. We've talked about high performing teams, we've talked about, you know, all the other topics, trust and empathy and these like things like this. And that layer of vulnerability, we always come back to it. Because without some level of vulnerability, again, it's a huge scale, it's not just like you have it or you don't, but without some element of vulnerability. In my experience, you miss out on so many real benefits of how people work together, whether it's willingness to speak up, when they have an idea, you may have missed out on a great idea, or someone to raise their hand and say, something's wrong, when something is wrong. These, these require certain in my mind, just culture that has vulnerability, accepted and allowed, and embraced to really bring out the potential in people, so I also look at it through that lens as this as this all encompassing element that everyone needs to share a part of.

Chris Pitre
Yeah, I completely agree.

Frank Danna
I agree. I was gonna say real quickly, that it's funny. We're working remotely now. And so and we've we've also like, done a lot of different things. And in our company, where we're, we're creating these new teams, right, and people that have never worked with each other before. And it's interesting to me that sometimes when you jump into a meeting, and everybody has their camera on, and then other meetings you jump into and one person has a camera on shout out to Erin. But it's it's interesting though, there's, there's like this connection where you can kind of tell when a team is a little bit more comfortable with each other sometimes. And that's not the case all the time, right? I'm not saying that everybody has to have their camera on in order to be vulnerable. But it's interesting that there's this this willingness with these people that are more comfortable with each other, to be able to be more open and sometimes in a you know, remote capacity, that means popping their camera on for a few moments and saying hello. And so it's just interesting even in this remote dynamic to see how vulnerability plays into showing up and being willing to be more participatory in conversation and in ideation and all of those components that make up a team.

Jeff Ma
The key, the key thing that stands out to me is like, if you bring if you boil this back down to a one to one relationship, so not even just lead not even leader or, you know, last seat last row, I just mean any two people in your organization, when you think about how they engage in the role that vulnerability plays in that, it's just, it's, it's so critical to imagine how those two people would interact when faced with real challenges when faced with problems, and inserting vulnerability. And what I mean is as simple as knowing each other beyond work, so if, if I've worked with you, for I've, we've met people that have worked together for decades, and just know, like, you know, very surface level information about the other. And again, you don't automatically gain vulnerability by knowing someone's complete bio. But the idea is that over if you spend all this time together, working, I've seen people work side by side for like, over a decade. And And still, when asked to share, you know, simple stories, like these are all things they've never heard of each other. And what we've gotten from feedback is that just knowing a story, like, oh, I didn't know that you went through that situation, I didn't know that you've had to deal with cancer in your family, or any of these things. Like these stories, you know, it may seem, you know, inconsequential to work. But when you talk to these people, they actually see each other differently. We've done this exercise with two people who've worked together for years. And the feedback afterwards was that after they actually connected at a personal level, they literally see a different person, it's like, I'm working with a new person, for the first time in years. And that's powerful, because this new person you're working with isn't someone that you just slide work across the desk to and exchange emails. It's someone you collaborate with, it's someone that you care about, you know, how they get their work done, and how well they succeed over just yourself. And that's built over this, understanding this mutual acceptance of vulnerability between the two of them. And I think that is so so important. It's just such a missing factor in any team, or any two people all the way up to an entire organization. That's just an element that I can't stress enough, personally.

Chris Pitre
And the question that I usually ask when we talk about vulnerability is I like to go back into like, really popular case studies in the business world. And ask, I wonder if those leaders had they been vulnerable with their company still be around? The case that I usually go back to is Blockbuster. And when you think about Blockbuster. It was like such a phenomenal brand when it was in its heyday. But a lot of people don't know that they actually had built a streaming platform before Netflix was even thought of. They saw that as a threat to their business, and so they shelved it. And imagine if a leader inside a Blockbuster, and it's, you know, last days when they realized that their numbers were not returning or bouncing back. If they would have got up and told the company, we don't know what to do. We are in trouble. And we need everyone's help. I can't imagine that whoever had that streaming platform sitting there would not have said, actually I might have something that we can test and see if this is something that's viable or not, right? Like, what if someone had been open enough to ask a full team or full organization to help save the business and then vulnerable enough to say, I don't know how to do it myself.

Jeff Ma
I love that.

Frank Danna
Yeah, that type of transparency is incredibly rare. And it's something that leaders are so fearful of, because they're afraid of a of a revolt. But in reality, like I can remember Mohammad, I remember when I think it was either 2016 or 2017. I can't remember what year it was. But you basically got the whole team together. The whole company together is when were you like you talked about earlier, we're at rock bottom. And every single person in our on our US team, we're in the same room. And you showed the financials to everybody, on the screen. Yeah, that was there was lots of red. Too much red Mohammad.

Mohammad Anwar
Yes.

Frank Danna
And, and yes, Jeff was panicking.

Jeff Ma
I had a I had a brown paper bag I was breathing into.

Frank Danna
For real. I don't know if that's true. But..

Chris Pitre
The costs were black, though. The costs were in the black.

Frank Danna
The problem was this. I was sitting there sweating bullets because I was going everybody's gonna quit. Like we're the entire company is going to look at this and say, that is not going to work. Right. And so I was like, I was so scared. Because I seriously was like, why are you being so why are you telling every single person how bad we're doing? But you know what it did? It got everybody on our team to step up, and to say, you know what I'm saying?

Mohammad Anwar
The key was I did not share it with the intent of causing fear.

Frank Danna
No, exactly.

Mohammad Anwar
Or scaring people, it was a plea for help. As when I, when I shared those financials, I was like, guys, we're in trouble. I, I'm trying my best here, but I need your help. And that was the angle right? of like, I didn't present it to scare anybody or stir fear. But what we saw the results was, I mean, looking back at it, everybody stepped up and said, you know what, we're going to help save this company, we're going to work together, we're going to do what, what we need to do, to make sure that we can come out of this situation. And that was the power that we saw of our team coming together and trusting me and, you know, being by my side, to help us get through this. And it increased the trust level, it really unlocked trust that I had never seen among and between the team. And that situation, where I was vulnerable enough to say, yeah, I'm the CEO. I've been running this company for 13 years, guess what, I don't know what the hell I'm doing. And you know, any other CEO or person who's in that role would probably be like, that's a death penalty. Why would you do that? That's like, you're you're, you're showing your weakness. What are you doing? But in that moment in time I that was the only thing I can think of is like, I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I need help.

Frank Danna
I don't think we would be here today, if you had not done that.

Jeff Ma
Agreed.

Chris Pitre
It could have been like Blockbuster.

Frank Danna
It could have been like blockbuster, yeah. But we're trying to be like Netflix.

Chris Pitre
Maybe, I don't know them like that. I'm just saying.

Frank Danna
The point for me, though, is that Mohammad, when you reached across the table, essentially and said, and were as vulnerable as you could have been, right? I don't even know how you were feeling in that moment. But it was an opportunity for people to step up, it was you gave us the ability to say we want to be part of the solution, right? You didn't just decide that we shouldn't be included in the discussion in the conversation. And that's what vulnerability is, to me. It's when you're inviting people in to what you're going through.

Jeff Ma
I think it's worth noting, I'm sorry, go ahead, Mohammad.

Mohammad Anwar
I was just gonna say, in the moment in time, I won't lie. I was scared. And I think I was extremely fearful. And I and you know, I was, I think up until that point moment in time, I was trying to demonstrate this strength of like, I know what I'm doing, we're gonna survive, we're gonna be fine. Nothing's wrong, right? when you really think about it, I was trying to cover up for my fears and my insecurity. And what I didn't know what I was doing. I was trying to, like put this personify the strong leaders mindset. And I thought that, you know, if I was going to say to the team that, hey, we're in trouble. I don't know what I'm doing. I actually thought that was a sign of weakness. But I had reached the stage where I couldn't do anything else but to share. But reflecting on it, what it really demonstrated, and what I learned from that was, I was able to overcome my fear, and be able to share that openly. And that that took a lot of courage when you just think about it.

Frank Danna
Yeah, that was that was strength, more so than more so than creating this, this fake persona of strength, right? It was when you were actually able to be open. People saw that as a sign of strength and courage.

Mohammad Anwar
Exactly.

Jeff Ma
I wanted to point out though, that like, you know, having experienced that and practiced similar, like, you know, like, practicing vulnerability at work. It's worth noting that the unique thing about vulnerability is that it can't, it doesn't work as a tactic. Like, when when Mohammad came through with that vulnerability, it wasn't like he goes, okay, I'm gonna expose all these numbers, and I want to make people riled up to help like, that wasn't ever a tactic as he planned to share that I remember talking to him beforehand, and he's like, I, I just, I just want to share I just want to get this off my chest, and I just want to, I want to be able to be myself. And it was this is vulnerability is an interesting thing where it only works if you you are truly being vulnerable. Like it only works. If you're trying, like people can see through this. It's not you can't just be like, I'm gonna practice vulnerability and just be like, you know, pouring all these stories out and trying to get people to like, like, see you as more vulnerable. It's like this interesting thing because as a leader, and as we, you know, we teach this stuff like we go, trying to help lead we go around, trying to help leaders connect with their own vulnerability. And it's it's this thing that some leaders perceive as like, you know, fake it till you make it. And it's like it's not. It's definitely not one of those things. It's like, you don't even need to have a good bs meter to look through. When vulnerability. It's how Mohammad ultimately delivered it in a real way that connected to people, I did not leave that room, I left that room very hopeful and inspired. But I didn't leave it because he shared the numbers or he said, because the literal fact he said, I don't know what I'm doing. He I left it because he put his heart out there you saw it, as he stood the front of the room, you saw that he was still trying to be strong for us. And still, but but the way he put it was all about helping us it was about wanting us to be able to bounce back and thrive. And he was you could see that when he said, I I want us to succeed for you. Not for revenue, not for numbers. I want us to maintain together, I don't want to lose jobs, I don't want to lose, like you, you felt that, you know, delivery couldn't have been faked. It couldn't have been fabricated, it was truly himself being put up there. And when you get when you get a CEO or anybody honestly, in that state, we as humans connect at this level that transcends common just, you know, communication, we connect, like hearts connect. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's it's a very, very powerful thing. And I know that that circumstance was extreme, and that that was a dire situation. But I mean, talk about uncertainty, right? Talk about risk and emotional exposure. Like those things culminate in a moment like that. And I think it's important for people to understand that vulnerability is not like practicing vulnerability isn't just going through any motions, it's actually looking within yourself at what you want to be who you want to be, how you want to treat others, and like what your intents really are connecting with those and sharing them outward. I think that's such a key takeaway, personally, because you remember when Mohammad is trying to, when we're trying to grow vulnerability in our own organization, not every leader was on board. And you could see that that difference between those immediately noticeable those who are like practicing vulnerability, because that's what's required of leadership in this company now, versus people who don't make a big show about it and go about trying to really build connections and trying to apologize and be own up to their, to their, to their things in earnest way. So I know I've rambled on all about that. But I think it's just so key. I love that story about Mohammad, but my experience from it, I still get emotional thinking about it, because of how powerful it was in that moment to be in that space.

Frank Danna
It was a it was a transformative moment.

Chris Pitre
Yeah. And I think that from a new beginning perspective, if you're a leader who has not embraced vulnerability, or you really want to see more vulnerability in your company, I think it's also really important to know, the opposite side of vulnerability, right? Like when vulnerability is used to take advantage of people, right? Yeah. Because, you know, if Mohammad were not Mohammad and Mohammad were some cruel, evil genius, right? Like, he could have done the same thing to get people to do what he wanted them to do by using those vulnerable tactics, right. And, you know, what I'm essentially describing as floodlighting, right, which is also coined by Brene Brown, but it's the idea of when you use vulnerability, for manipulation, right, you're using it to get people to either feel sympathy to a place where they no longer hold you accountable, or they are not necessarily putting pressure on you to do something that you probably should be doing in the first place, right, like, and I want listeners and, you know, viewers to just really understand that this is a very powerful thing, like vulnerability can be very powerful. But just like with any tool, it can be used for good or for evil. And, you know, this is where it's really important to understand how do you make sure that you're not being manipulative, and you know, going back to the, you know, love as a platinum strategy, manipulation is where as a win lose, someone's gonna win and someone's gonna lose. And that's when you know, when, when you're using vulnerability in the wrong way, someone's gonna lose at the end of it. And you know that as the person using that tool, and you know that you're going to win because of it.

Jeff Ma
So I know we're running low on time. And there's so much to, you know, continue on here. But we usually close with the connection between love and this topic. I think that's clear. I want to close with what is the practical application, I guess if people are listening, where do they go next with this, if you understand the value of vulnerability in the workplace, what can a leader or anybody go off and take a first step at.

Frank Danna
Ask how someone's weekend was on a Monday. Just what did you over the week? I mean, it's it's as simple as starting the conversation, right with someone else, that's the intent is just to begin a conversation, where you can learn more about another person walking away from that, knowing something more than what you did previously. That's that's my little piece of what I think leaders can do, anybody can do to build better relationships inside of an organization, or just, it sounds very simple. But you'd be surprised at how many people walk in on Monday. And there's no discussion, there's no upfront conversation, it's just let's get back to work. There are moments that we all have where we can just add a little bit more humanity into it. And that's a good time to do it.

Chris Pitre
Yeah. I mean, for me, because I'm that anti-crier, right? Like, let's not bring tears into this. I think that some of the easiest ways is to actually introduce levity, right? Like, like, you can do a lot when you open up about yourself or have a story that is humorous, or warms the room up, or lets people sort of see you in a different light, whether that be sharing a mistake from your childhood, or an embarrassing moment, whatever the case may be, right, those, those little things that just, you know, make you feel and appear and, you know, sort of translate into a more human, approachable, flawed individual. I think it's really simple. And it doesn't take you know, you muster up tears.

Jeff Ma
Mohammad, any last kind of quick, first steps for people or any advice?

Mohammad Anwar
No, I would just say, first step is just learn to apologize. I think that's the most powerful way to start practicing vulnerability, but it's not easy. It requires a lot of courage to be able to push your ego down and be able to take ownership. And I know it's easier said than done. But that's the simplest way I would leave it that just learn to apologize.

Jeff Ma
And for those academic minds out there, Brene Brown, we're huge fans. So she has a lot of great resources to go listen very, very, she dives very, very deep and thoroughly, she spent her life studying this. Oh, it's wonderful stuff. So that'll do it for vulnerability. I want to thank you all. Mohammad, Frank, and Chris for being so vulnerable today. And that, that that was a great conversation. I thought we had there. Here at the podcast, we're going to be posting new episodes every Tuesday. And so we'd love to hear from you. What would you like to hear next Tuesday? What would be the next topic that interests you or would help you out be? Let us know softway.com/LAABS. And if you liked what you heard, please leave us a review. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify. That would mean a lot. And with that, I will see you guys next Tuesday.

Mohammad Anwar
Bye.

Frank Danna
Goodbye.

Chris Pitre
Goodbye.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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