By: Sammy Harrison

Brene Brown is a researcher and storyteller, author and speaker. She specializes in the importance of vulnerability and what it means about shame, fear and human connection.

According to Brown, connection is why we’re here. It’s what gives us purpose and meaning in our lives. The ability to feel connected is neurologically how we’re wired and why we’re here.

Shame, on the other hand, is the fear of disconnection. It’s the idea that if someone where to know or see something about me they don’t like that I won’t be worthy of connection.

It’s important for all people, especially our leaders, to live and lead from a place of vulnerability. From a place of authenticity and connection. Then, the teams we lead will be open to this same vulnerability and authenticity to truly thrive, instead of hiding or numbing from a place of fear.

In this TED Talk, Brown discusses people in her research that live wholeheartedly. These are people that live from a deep sense of worthiness. These types of people have four attributes that Brown calls out:

  1. Courage: they use their whole heart, and they have the courage to be imperfect
  2. Compassion: they are kind to themselves FIRST and then to others
  3. Connection: as a result of authenticity, they are willing to let go of who they think they should be in order to be who they are. According to Brown, that’s the ONLY way to have connection.
  4. Vulnerability: they people that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful. To them, vulnerability isn’t comfortable or excruciating, but it’s absolutely necessary for real connection.

Watch the TED Talk video here.