In a recent collaboration meeting with several leaders from numerous organizations and firms, one of them commented, “I think I may have overshared.” Actually, her thoughts, insights and feelings were exactly what we needed to hear. She had been very vulnerable with us and her comments were both relevant and insightful. After her comment, the word "overshared" kept ringing in my ears. Why did I love this term so much?
I think it caught my attention due to my current dilemma with my own personal constraint. CeCe is the extrovert in our home and more often than I care to recall, she dives into a personal story with friends and family that is best described as private, embarrassing, sensitive or all of the above. On numerous occasions, I can hear myself saying, “CeCe, that’s a little too much information.” Of course, this is like throwing gas on the fire—it only seems to egg her on.
I must say she has been a wonderful sport in letting me share some of the funny things that happen in our lives in this blog. I guess I picked up her habit of sharing too much. But now my dilemma is that anytime I mention that she might be sharing a little too much information with someone, she uses my beBetter blog to justify her actions. “You write personal stories in that blog!” Pointing out that I’m more selective on which stories I share and that I share with her first seems to be of no avail. This is my personal dilemma and probably an example of oversharing.
I do know that one of my constraints as a leader and team member that others have to deal with is my hesitancy to share my feelings or open up as quickly as I should. People can interpret my silence as non-caring, distant, protective and it certainly hurts my ability to build trust. But being aware of this, I persistently push myself to share and speak up before I am comfortable. By learning to embrace this vulnerability, it helps me help others open up and it builds more trust in our firm.
I’m excited about the challenge of #overshared as it gives me a word, a trigger, that can help me attack my constraint. I can use it to help me push out of my comfort zone of preferring silence or thinking and analyzing too long. I know that I am seeking that vulnerable feeling of "overshared."
As leaders (we are all leaders and our teams need us to lead at various times), are we using the power of #overshared to continue the conversation and help others? Has someone oversharing helped you? Vulnerability is powerful and a skill we can learn which will help build trust with others. Let’s overshare some today.