• Barbara L. Ciccarelli, PhD

The Courage to Get Back Up: A New Definition of “Rising Skills”

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

“What would it mean for our #schools and #classrooms if we showed up for tough, honest conversations about what it takes to bring our best, most #authentic selves to work?” I was looking for my latest #BrenéBrown fix, and I came across her 7 April 2017 youtube video on “Daring Classrooms” delivered in front of a group of #teachers like myself. What struck me (besides her many insightful and humorous stories) was her Four Pillars of Courageous Leadership: Vulnerability, Clarity of Values, Trust, and Rising Skills. #Courage is a measure of these four skill sets, and, despite what has previously been thought, they can be taught and learned and developed and measured. A courageous #leader is one who both teaches and learns and is a far cry from that stereotypical perfectionist #manager who focuses on the negative of his direct reports so he can justify to his boss bad end of month or year results. Instead, “[w]e define a leader as anyone who holds her/himself accountable for finding the potential in other people and developing that potential.”

This goes for the teacher as leader and her approach to her students. As a Skills Professional, of the #fourpillars, I was most curious about “Rising Skills” so I stopped the video and googled it. What came up was a definition of “Rising Skills” as meaning those skills in increasing demand. Now that didn’t sound like Brené Brown so I returned to the video only to learn that “Rising Skills” really meant rising back up or one’s resilience, in other words, one’s ability to bounce back when knocked down. She says it is not a matter of if you might fall; she says you WILL fall if you are brave and courageous. “If you are brave you are going to get hurt,” and, more importantly, “We have to learn how to get back up.”

This is also relevant for #job searching. If you want to find that #dreamjob, you have to show up and show up #authentically. You have to show up and bravely show your #vulnerability, have the courage to show your authentic self, because if you don’t, what the Dutch call “the click” between employer and job seeker, won’t happen, or maybe it will be enough to get the job but will prove a problem down the line. Remember vulnerability is not weakness. “No vulnerability: no innovation and creativity.” “No vulnerability: no learning.” There can be no development if you are starting out with an inauthentic self. It is like a house of cards which at any moment can come crashing down. In Brown’s book Daring Greatly, she defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” She writes that vulnerability is also “the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, #empathy and #creativity. It is the sources of #hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper or meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” She goes even further to say that “vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings” (33).

So what can we do? We can show up and talk to each other authentically with #trust, #courage, our #values and the #motivation to #bounceback. “The willingness to show up #changes us. It makes us a little #braver each time” (CXO Focus, Thought Leadership). With becoming braver each time, we see that our #imperfections are actually the sources of our perfections as #teachers and as #learners--as courageous leaders.

For more of Barbara's Blogs, go to www.thewaylearningworks.com/blog.

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