“The other person will never reveal themselves to you unless they trust you. They will never trust you unless they know you. They will never know you unless you reveal yourself to them.” Tom Marshall
This is the single most powerful thing you can do if you want to enhance the quality of any relationship. It can be used in a business situation. It can be used between friends. Between lovers, spouses or even relative strangers.
The way I tend to describe this method of improving any relationship is simply this: The Power of Vulnerability.
Making ourselves vulnerable is almost counter-cultural in this age of social media statuses that demand lots of “Likes” and happy comments. But in my experience, when someone is truly honest about where they are at and makes themselves extremely vulnerable either to one other person they can trust or even when appropriate, to a group of others of varying degrees of familiarity, the impact is sometimes breath-taking. Literally.
Firstly, the people listening to the information being revealed cannot help but feel incredibly privileged to have been invited in to this degree of truth concerning their friend or perhaps, colleague. Secondly, this privileged information takes on a life of its own to such a degree that in a matter of minutes, the relationship that was before them, has suddenly become something much more valuable.
The value is in the vulnerability. And because of the obvious value that has been offered by the person making themselves so vulnerable, the recipient – be it a single individual or a group of others – invariably feel compelled to offer something of themselves, their own story, their own choice to make themselves vulnerable. I have lost count of the number of times I have been in a social gathering, charity or business forum where this has taken place and those present have experienced a total transformation not only in the atmosphere but also in the perception of each other.
And therein lies the key and the enormous power behind this concept. People have made themselves extremely vulnerable by typically, offering up something of their own story that speaks only of their weakness, a struggle they are grappling with. And yet, it has not made them weaker by revealing it, even to relative strangers. It has strengthened them as well as the group dynamic, and furthermore, has empowered others to do the the same.
It is of course, what the likes of Alcoholics Anonymous have been doing for decades. What is different however, is that there is no life-controlling addiction that is the common denominator here. It is simply a decision to make yourself vulnerable and see where it takes you.
Will you be the one to reveal yourself to the other person in order for them to trust you?