Be in the Know
Vulnerability is so… powerful?
I had a project in art school that required an oral report to complete the course. I didn’t bow out as I had previously. I did, however, defer until I was last to speak.
This time I tried something different. At the outset, I admitted that I might not get through it entirely and that I hoped that the class would bear with me. During the talk, I was sure I was crashing. My voice was cracking. I couldn’t lift my head from my notes. “If I could just get thru it with one more breath . . . and . . . done. Need to breathe.”
Then something odd happened.
Applause. Genuine applause. The only applause on that day. Pats on the shoulder. A sense of closeness with everyone in the room. I rode the bus home, wondering, “What just happened?”
How do you react when someone owns up to a particular weakness, reveals a hole in their understanding, or shares an embarrassing moment? Most of us feel empathy and, most of the time, drawn to the honesty and humility.
So, where am I going with this?
Pitching new creative or meeting a prospective client for the first time can, every so often, give me the Heebie Jeebies. When I’m in that zone, I reach for my superpower. I don’t typically lead with it, but, when appropriate, I’ll sprinkle something in that could be considered vulnerable. It could be relating something personal (but not creepy) or admitting that I don’t have the answer to a question just yet. Applause doesn’t follow, but there’s a good chance that I’ve become relatable and trustworthy to my new friends.
I know this concept isn’t new. There’s a plethora of content on applying vulnerability to sales, for example. But it’s something that can be used in so many of our day-to-day encounters, whether we’re brand-side or agency. Especially for us wallflowers.
– Rob Carney
This week’s selected question from Ask Rob Anything:
April wants to know, “How do you keep track of your employees’ happiness in the hectic day to day of agency life?”
- Be your own Alexa and listen a lot and to everyone.
- After asking a question, don’t interrupt.
- Take time to dwell on what was said to you directly and what you overheard each day. (I prefer the drive home while the day is still fresh)
- Put it at the top of your to-do list to touch base with individuals when needed.
If the process becomes cumbersome, you may have bigger issues on your hands.
Here’s how you can participate in ARA (Ask Rob Anything)…
Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and use #ARA in the subject line. I’ll try to get to them all and feature one here next week.
Craig, Daniel Craig.
It’s hard enough for A-Listers to escape the spotlight. Even when they flee Hollywood, they meet the familiar flashes of cameras. For Daniel Craig, there is no escaping James Bond.
In this Heineken spot, he navigates a hiccup in his vacation plans and can’t seem to convince people that he is, in fact, Daniel Craig – not 007. Perhaps the dissociation is apparent when he forgoes a Vesper martini for a bottle of Heineken.
Ads from the PastAds from the Past
“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”