The Dangers Of Performative Vulnerability & Empathy For Leaders
Some leaders try to fake connection, but can their co-workers tell? And what is the impact of faking it at work? You might be surprised by what the research says. This is CRUCIAL for leaders.
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We all know what it feels like to be vulnerable…it’s uncomfortable not just emotionally but also physically. In fact, every CEO I interviewed me that vulnerability doesn’t feel good.
One CEO of a large agriculture company (who asked to be anonymous for this quote) that I interviewed for my new book, Leading With Vulnerability told me that when the following when he feels vulnerable.
“I can feel that I’m in fight or flight mode, my heart beats faster and my stomach is in knots. It almost feels like a panic attack which I have had a few times.
It turns out then when we are vulnerable, it produces a stress response via the release of adrenaline and cortisol making us uncomfortable.
However, people on the receiving end of your vulnerable ALSO experience something.
Dr. Love aka Paul Zal is a professor of Economic Sciences, Psychology & Management and Director at the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University.
He’s one of the many researchers and psychologists that I interviewed for my new book, Leading With Vulnerability.
Dr. Zak has been studying vulnerability, empathy, trustworthiness, on a scientific level for a long time. He looks not just at the emotional responses but the chemical responses in our brains and bodies via extensive blood testing.
According to Dr. Zak people on the receiving end of your vulnerability see your vulnerability as a sign of trust and their brains get a dose of oxytocin which causes three crucial things to happen.
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