Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Why moments of vulnerable transparency are important in employee relations, innovation and customer service 

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A moment of vulnerable transparency is
when people say something true and honest but that is not necessarily traditionally acceptable to share or even politically correct. It helps people make decisions!

Recommended reading: 

Don’t mistake politically incorrect for actually incorrect (keynote video)

This could include:

  • Leaders sharing with employees a mistake they’ve made.
  • Customer service representatives actually acknowledging a mistake.
  • Admitting that an “innovative” thing isn’t working.

Of course, the next steps include:

  • Accountability – yes, leaders can get fired, too, but it obviously doesn’t need to lead to that every time. But there needs to be some accountability by the people who actually made the mistake. Accountability isn’t always about punishment either and the accountability that actually helps us move forward doesn’t punish but enables learning. 
  • Fixing it – now that we’ve admitted the mistake and if we are still around, let’s fix it quickly. 

The two go hand in hand really. You can’t fix what we haven’t acknowledged. Like when I weighed 330 pounds, I denied that I was fat. Crazy, I know. But I did. Once I had a moment of vulnerable transparency, held myself accountable for crappy eating habits and decided to fix it, I was ready to start my journey of being healthy.

Recommended reading:

My fitness blog

But, admitting that we made a mistake is hard – especially for leaders. Because you know many of the leaders we grew up with weren’t very transparent – at all. They told you when a decision was made and that was that. No details were shared.

But today, things should be different and Participation Age leaders, customer service oriented companies  and authentic storytellers already do some or all of these:

  • They say it how it is (without being rude, snarky or bossy).
  • They work on things with people – and this doesn’t mean they always let no buy-in hold them back. 
  • They are helpful. 
  • They own their lives (and stories).

Recommended reading:

Forget about work-life balance. Go for full integration

Everyone has an agenda and that’s okay

When people have moments of vulnerable transparency that helps those involved – them and us – to make decisions on how to write our next chapter. 

And by the way, making and admitting a mistake does not mean that we have to shut down all of our social media accounts and go into hiding – in general. Sharing is okay and our stories can help others, too. 

It means we own our lives.

Use these moments to move forward quickly – sometimes that’s together and sometimes we take different paths at the same fork in the road. 



Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I’m Christoph Trappe.

I’ve written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs.

If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I’m always happy to chat!

Thanks for reading!

– Christoph
ctrappe@christophtrappe.com
319-389-9853

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Victory, Canada

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