I read a beautiful story from my quiet time about the St. Olaf Choir from Northfield, Minnesota. They are renowned for making beautiful music and one reason for its excellence is the selection process. Choir members are chosen based not only on how well they sing but also on how they sound as part of the whole. Another reason is that all members agree to make the choir their first priority and commit to a rigorous rehearsal and performance schedule.
What caught my attention about this choir is what happens during rehearsals.
“Whenever members make a mistake, they raise their hand. Instead of trying to hide the blunder, they call attention to it!”
This allows the conductor to help each singer learn the difficult part, and it increases the likelihood of a flawless performance.
Last year, I was asked to help support a senior leadership team to align the team’s vision and build collaborative behaviors.
When team members are genuinely transparent and honest with one another, they are able to build vulnerability-based trust. Team members who trust one another can be comfortable being open, even exposed, to one another regarding their failures, weaknesses, and fears. Vulnerability-based trust is predicated on the simple and practical idea that people who are willing to admit the truth about themselves are not going to engage in the kind of political behavior that wastes everyone’s time and energy and, more important, makes it difficult to achieve real results.
The leadership team spent quality time in the past two retreats gathered in conversational circles, created space for thoughts, ideas and shared stories about how they would help one another to take courage in being vulnerable to one another and to encourage trust within the team.
Are you brave enough to be vulnerable?
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