Episode 43 – Confident Vulnerability with Lisa Gregory

Meet Lisa Chapman Gregory. Lisa is the principal consultant, coach, training developer, facilitator and project manager for her own company, Coaching Matters. As part of her work, she is also a certified strengths coach, trainer, co-author and Thought Leader with People Acuity, the Interdependent Leadership company based in North America. Lisa brings her business and leadership experience to her clients to help them improve performance, effectiveness and engagement.

Lisa Chapman Gregory

Episode 43 Show Notes


Episode 43 Transcript

This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 43. Confident Vulnerability with Lisa Chapman Gregory.

This podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work, but are compelled to seek it out and do it.

Are you ready to move your desk?

Today on the show I’ll be talking with Lisa Gregory, and she is someone that I’ve known for a couple of years, and we have met together a few times to talk about leadership and entrepreneurship and making changes in our careers and life. And so I’m so happy that she’s on the show just to give a little background and, of course, this is in the show notes as well.

Lisa Chapman Gregory is a principal consultant, a coach, a training developer, a facilitator and a project manager for her own company. So she wears a lot of different hats and wears them very well. She has an extensive background in the training and development field and in coaching as part of her work. She is also certified strength coach and trainer and thought leader for a company called People Acuity, and she’s also the co author of a book called Shift Up and so she brings her business and leadership experience to her clients to help them improve performance, effectiveness and engagement.

I’m excited to have this particular topic that Lisa talked about because I had never heard it in these terms. People Acuity coined the term confident vulnerability and Lisa has extensive experience sharing this concept with individuals and organizations. And so, certainly, if you need her to come speak at your organization, please reach out to her. She is in the Washington D. C. Area, but I know she’s accessible online and could certainly go to certain locations. So think of her if you need someone to come into your organization to speak to this topic.

So I hope you enjoy the show. Let’s take a listen.

Lisa – I am Lisa Chapman Gregory. I am a leader. A manager. I wear lots of hats. I’m an entrepreneur, a thought leader. I’m a step mom. I’m a wife. I’m a friend, and I have learned a lot about leadership in my journey. A lot of what I’ve learned through mistakes and a lot of what I’ve learned from mentors and tutors and from some things that I did write inflected back home. So today I just wanted to share thought specifically around one of what I see as the It was important skill for leaders to develop and have in the 21st century.

And so maybe Rebecca, when we start with what is a leader, I ask 16 year old son. His definition was pretty fun, but in the bottom line, I think a leader is someone who it was, with others without compulsion, who were all leaders. It’s all influence and intentionally includes other people, whether or not you have a leadership title. And so this skill can be applied everywhere. That’s for the reasons that I love it, because I also get practice at it in every aspect of my life. And the cause of the skill is called confident vulnerability, which essentially means I know what I am. I know, but I’m not. And both are okay, which means I understand myself. My brilliance, what I can contribute my uniqueness, and I hold it without apology, without bragging, without judgment. I also have a good sense of what I’m not where my limitations what do I not see? Where do I need to lean into others. What do I not know? And I don’t hold that in judgment either when we can talk more, if you like, about what that means. But it’s a critical skill because 83% of work that’s done, how in the human economy in the 21st century is done in teams and leaders are part of the stings.

Somewhere along the line, leadership got we defined, and being the leader got redefined from being an influencer to being the person who knows it all. And the truth is, nobody wi I applied spots. We all have things we don’t see, and there’s so much information and resources out there. No one person could hold it. Even experts partner with other experts, and so it’s extremely because of us were trying to leave an influence. Others toe hold onto this archaic beliefs that we have to pretend. But we have all confidence.

We know it all, and we have no ability, right? That’s so dangerous, you know, In fact, I wanted to ask you is is this a term? I didn’t look it up? Confident vulnerability? Is this something that a lot of people are using or Is this a term that you used to describe a certain kind of leadership at tribute? It’s a great question. So it’s a term that’s been trademark and coined by. People accuse me. I’m one of the thought leaders, and we are an interdependent leadership company.

And so we’ve coined that term. Many people might be familiar with Brene Brown and her word around vulnerability or into that skill and characteristic is and leaders and at people kill you. We believe that confidence is an important balancer and component of the equation.

Rebecca – That confidence and vulnerability goes well together, right? And, I like how you talked about that, the importance of being able to influence and lead, but realizing you don’t have to know it all. And there’s no way to know it all because it takes so much time to become an expert in all the little things required now that you there’s a vulnerability and being able to accept that and have that is just part of your understanding of your roles, that confidence that balance between the confidence and the vulnerability that’s required to know when you can speak up and lead, but no when you also have to speak up and say, Oh, I don’t know that you’re the one that’s smart at it. Please come help us kind of things.

Lisa – It’s exhausting Rebecca to pretend there’s a leader. You have it all and you know it all stressful. It adds to the now that we’re all feeling. I love the books that were saying, But one of the things that they brought out in that book is if you’re going to be an expert The One Thing here, we really did it, something you are going to have to sacrifice knowing and doing and being other things. It’s just the human costs is everything and where 83% of work is done in teams.

When we pretend as leaders to know it all, we shut down the contribution and innovation from the people on our teams.

Rebecca – Yes, 100% agree with that. I had to lead quite a few teams the last few years and what was very I’m so grateful. I learned I had a time. Oh, I’m not the smartest person here course. I’ve always known it wasn’t the smartest person, so that’s a benefit. But I am effective. It coordinating smart people, and it was interesting to see how often I’d say, I don’t know how to do that.

But we have got a team member that knows how to do that. Hey, team member, can you share and the secret happiness they seem to feel when you put them on the pedestal and highlighted them. Even those people that like to be behind the scenes, they still want to have that acknowledgement on the way I’m like you said. What a stress relief do not have to be smart at it.

Lisa – It is. And I just want to point out, Rebecca, when you talk about what you’re confident in, you are good at pulling the right people together.

That is part of your smartness as part of your brilliant and when you talk about it and you stand with confidence without judgment or apology to say I’m could this like the energy, your voice, it just infuses me and it’s very apparent, and we need more leaders to just stand own. I’m good at this, and this is what I can usually contribute. Here’s my puzzle piece, right well, and that, you know.

Rebecca – it’s interesting you brought that up just right at the beginning. I guess that’d be able to somehow be confident with that. But not cocky, but and find that balance and where you’re like. No, I feel good that I can do this. How can I offer this versus Yeah, I’m I’m pretty great. Now I’m the only one Earth. Whatever it would be involved in that. I don’t know. I haven’t had a chance to be cocky lately because I’m being so humbled.

Lisa – Really vulnerable right now. I also they’re right, you know that this isn’t you share matter, the people, I think the fundamental belief and understanding. And it’s a way of seeing Rebecca that says that I am not the puzzle, but I am a piece right about my piece. The puzzle doesn’t get completed.

Rebecca – I like that analogy, but that where we just recognized were always part of something and not the whole. And it’s okay necessarily lasso our year. You’re finding that this is something that is an area where a lot of people are struggling with as you interact with leaders and managers. And what what’s going on?

Lisa – So I actually see both sides. Rebecca, you might anticipate if you think about some worst leaders that you’ve been 100 people that you can’t stand to be with. You think, Oh, they need more vulnerability like they’re all confidence, cocky is too much. And so certainly there are a lot of leaders out there that for multiple of reasons, don’t feel comfortable and don’t even to see the value of showing any vulnerability. And so certainly we work with with the first like that, and I see equally as often the challenge with leaders don’t see and understand their brilliance and stand in their confidence. And so both create issues a challenge and organizations one prevents when Earl proponents of confidence prevents other people from feeling invited to come in and contribute.

Like I said, right there, it shuts down innovation. It creates a toxic environment where than other people feel like they can’t show your ability. But not knowing is not okay and creates this Brene Brown mentioned. On the flip side, when we use leaders don’t understand that our brilliance is bringing up brilliant people together. We don’t understand what’s what’s my particular mojo then our impact is spotty. It happens when the right group of people on the right project in the right time happens, but we don’t know how to create and recreate that recipe to get the outcome it Lee.

And so I work with a lot of leaders to help them understand that their perspective, their brilliance, their weakness is unique and it is brilliance. It’s not just something that I kind of do it. I don’t I don’t know really why that matters. And it’s hard deal because a lot of people are just showing up every day to do their job and there’s some, but it’s just trying to get to the next day and can go even years. Sometimes you forget to stop and go Wait. I might be pretty good at what I’m doing, but am I happy doing it?

Am I giving my best in this? And I think it’s really interesting when you look it. That and I’ve gone through this recently where I look at different things and I know how to do or different attributes I have and you know, Yeah, I know how to do that particular thing really well, but I don’t enjoy doing there’s this other thing that I might not right, he is good at yet, but I’m I would be good at it if I spend a little more time learning it a little bit more and the nuances of it.

And I think in the long term I would be great at it. But at the same time, there’s some things you want to be good at that we just don’t have any skill said. And I know I’ve had some of the like learning a language. I barely know English, right? And I thought, I want learn languages and I let that go a couple of years ago. That’s not that’s not what I’m gonna offer it my best work. So I don’t think I’m gonna spend any time learning any more Spanish.

It’s just There’s so many other things where if I spend time learning, I’ll get really good at it and, well, the shared. So that’s a thoughtful process, and I don’t know that some people bother to go through that process. Or maybe someone has to trigger them to think, Oh, it’s worth it to go through this process to figure out I have a special puzzle piece, but I’m just not any old puzzle piece I’m special, just like everyone else. Uniquely special. Like everyone else. I love that you’ve hit on a really important core recipe for my look, where I live and what my uniqueness is.

And it’s not just performance. Like you said, it’s also G. So where is my performance? High up my energy high. I’d call it The Optimal Zone. It’s It’s this place you’re contributing. You’re receiving other people and their contributions Time disappears and the results were fantastic and you feel energized by the work. And if you could have more of that in your life Oh, how happy you would be. Yes, helping leaders and others understand where they could be confident or should be confident is helping them understand? What’s that place of high energy and high performance?

And how do I create more? And then, oh, and showing up in front of others is saying this is a place where I have something to contribute and it’s exciting and I want to do more of it. How can I help? Well, even the way you present it makes me go. Oh, I need to learn how to do it. In that way. Instead of shirking instead of kind of hiding and saying, Well, I I I’m pretty good, you know? Take a look and see if I’m okay, but still, I know I’m practicing.

I know some stuff here and Sherry, and I like how you talk about the combination of energy and performance. That’s something I’m learning a lot about right now. Is I set up a business realizing you to preserve the energy for the right people. I’ve realized I’m not going to seek to work with the masses. I’m gonna offer up certain things for certain groups of people. And so it’s very few people might be a high ticket item, but then I can give my best to those few people and other people might be the opposite.

Sure, bring on the tens of thousands. You know, Well, that that’s overwhelming. Need to think about it, sucking the energy. But I can provide energy for few people in the right place. So it’s interesting you take people. Do you take people individually through this process? Do you teach people how to have this confident vulnerability into seek their energy and performance? Bring it together with groups of people to help organizations How does that work? It is always an individual journey. It can be done in at one on one setting or in a group setting.

It really matter. What matters is the personal journey and what that looks like. So there’s some tools that we used to, so that I really like to help people understand their uniqueness and is a vulnerability and start to hold that with any judgment for themselves. And then, as we move in, our journey of understanding for ourselves and naturally spills over into understanding and seeing other people around us with more clever understanding in starting to spot the contribution and the weaknesses of road abilities of others and not holding me drifting around that as well.

But it’s always a personal be in either a one on one sighting, small group or large group, setting a journey matters and to go through the ups and downs that come along with the signing. To do that. Is this something that, as you teach people about confident vulnerability, I don’t know if you have an example from how you stepped into yours or somebody else, how they kind of went on this journey to figure out themselves and combination of vulnerability. In that equation, I can shoot too quick examples in two different scenarios.

I will say that I just said that the setting doesn’t matter. It is easier to walk the journey if others were walking with you to be around others who are also learning to be vulnerable and confident around those at work. I work with many leaders who I mean, this is what we talk about all of the time. We check in on each of our meetings and check in with each other and say, What’s what are you gonna contribute? What do you need? How do we show up together?

And so one of the things that I learned in that process is taking a look and saying, You know what? I am really good at taking complex ideas and distilling them down to everyday language and applique ability. I’m good at that, which means I’m not very good at writing complex theoretical white paper research like That’s just not a place I just need to play. But I can distill brilliant ideas and do it fairly well into basic application. And so, as a stop trying to be something I’m not and focus on writing, blog’s and papers and books that, speaking of everyday kind of language, I’m happy, and I’m able to communicate with a large group of people who for whom that resonates.

And that’s brought a lot of work joy to me on the family size. My stepson just moved in with my husband and I. He’s 16. He’s a delight and that he lived with his mom and then decided to move in with my husband. So rather than weekend visits, we went to a full family, which has been wonderful. And as one would imagine, we had a bit of a kerfuffle. We could have, oh, where he got upset with us and we said, Well, this is the way we feel and we seem to be at an impasse and he was quite upset.

And so he left the house and was walking and I was walking next to him. My husband was falling on the car. You know, we just when it’s late at night and your kids leave the house, she just wanted to be safe, and I was listening and asking him questions about how he was feeling. Lie trying to share Why my husband, I felt the way that we did were clearly at an impasse. And so I just turned to him and I said, I said, I don’t know what to do next, Parent, you’re supposed to know I’m like, Yeah, but right, this is the leadership definition leader you’re supposed to know, parent, you’re supposed to know.

Yeah, I said, Well, I’ve never been here before. I’ve never been in this situation with you. We’ve never been here before, so I don’t think any of us really know howto handle it well. But I do think that if we will stick together, we will figure it out together. And we did a little bit more walking on a whole lot more talking. There’s a pivotal moment in the relationship, and in the conversation it sounds, and it’s not a time for a power play or confidence stance is this, and this happens multiple times a day.

All the time for us is leaders. You learn to stand and confident vulnerability. We have tools that we and we can open doors that otherwise would remain closed to us if we were too confident and hiding vulnerability or for all vulnerability and said, Well, I don’t know what to d’oh so I can’t do anything. Those were beautiful stories. I like how you shared one from personal life and from work, because that’s the reality of what we’re trying to balance in our lives. And even as you’re sharing the stories, I thought of those moments where either someone has had that with me or I’ve had that for someone.

And you can feel it in the air that moment when someone admits something and it just kind of levels the playing field and you’re like, Oh, we’re both in the same spot right now. It could be a very emotional or knitting together kind of experience as you go through it. So thanks for sharing that you’re welcome. Sometimes leaders Rebecca come to me and say, Well, how do I get my my direct reports to do this? Get them to change like you have noticed. The answer’s always the same.

You show up and confident vulnerability, just like you’ve articulated Rebecca. It is contagious. It doesn’t change the feeling in the room. It gives other people permission to stand on their brilliance and standing there not knowing without you change you. You changed everything, right? You create that environment where it’s OK to make mistakes and experiment. And I love this concept. I’m gonna remember this phrase now because it just brings together so many attributes in one simple phrase. Is there anything else? Any thought you feel like you haven’t shared related to this concept that you think would be important for people to consider if they haven’t considered this before or seeking to change themselves in some way?

Yes, thank you. That’s a great question. I think the last thing that I would share is that if you as a leader are looking internally, scupper what is my confidence and where is my vulnerability and how do I hold that With grace, with judgment, I would invite you to look into places. Confident vulnerability is not just what you do Very skilled at this very adept at this. It’s also your way of being. I show up with a with a non judgmental space where people feel comfortable, your way of being and your you do are equally powerful.

So I would invite leaders till book both it the doing hand. What’s my way of being, which can often be a little harder to self diagnose. So, uh, well, what is it the way about the way I am that positively influences you and and listen very carefully to the answers. They might surprise you. Now that’s great, you know, And I’m going through that right now is receiving feedback as I do podcasts and as I create things. And I’m grateful that some people have said, Hey, can I share this little lot with you?

Can I share this like I don’t want to be too critical, but they’ll share it and they’re right, like, 100% of the time They’ve been right. But I think it’s because they have very thoughtfully come to share it. And it’s okay that they can’t see me blush when they’re giving me the feedback or I’m a moment of embarrassment or anger inside. But then I sit there. No. Okay, that took a lot for them to share, and they’re right, and I improved from it. So of course I want to be open to receiving that kind of feedback, because if it improves me that it could be a wonderful experience.

But thank you for sharing these thoughts. I excited to really listen to this and take more notes. I was trying to take more notes, were talking, but that’s hard to d’oh. Well, it’s my pleasure. Thank you for inviting me to be here today. I really appreciate it. So I know some of our listeners will be anxious to learn more about you and work with you. Where should I send them? Sure. So if you go toe lengthen and at least that Chapman Gregory looking my articles, you’ll find multiple about confident vulnerability.

What it means how to develop. I’ve co authored a book called Shift Up. Big Strategies for Optimal Performance. People text in there about confident vulnerability and how to work with others. Seeing by that on Amazon, thank you again. And I look forward to learning more of what you have to offer and excited to share this with listeners. Thank you so much. I am ready to help you move your mind and move your desk. I am a coach. If you’d like to work with me, go to move your desk dot com and select the work with me Tab.

We can put our minds together and help you offer up your best work

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