Are we worrying too much about what others deem to be acceptable subjects of conversation? Have we gone too far in hiding our real thoughts and issues in the interest of decorum and “I’m great, thanks, how are you?”
I think so.
As I write my second book, I am feeling the need to do something I have traditionally avoided—discuss my own personal ups and downs. We all have them, we universally agree that they have made us stronger, and yet we would rather face a firing squad than lay that part of our history bare for the world to see.
I applaud Work Her Way Expert Kathy Caprino’s decision to reveal her own financial distress, as it relates to helping other women. That takes courage, especially as she owns up to her fear that she will not be as strong of a role model for the women she coaches. True role models and coaches need to be brave enough to get real with us. That type of communication isn’t possible with people who operate from behind a façade of perfection. I’m glad that Kathy is on my team, and yours.
Work Her Way Expert Deb Owen is another remarkable example of this kind of courage and generosity. Deb has developed quite a nice following on her HR and workplace blog, 8 Hours and a Lunch. However, she stepped away from her work recently, as she worked through some personal changes that included a spiritual awakening. She has emerged with a new purpose, and she is sharing that purpose on her new blog, Smiling at the Future.
Many of her regular readers applauded her change, but a few actually ridiculed or expressed their disappointment. In fact, Deb questioned whether we would be interested in featuring her new work, especially since the subject of spirituality is a sensitive one. Our answer is a resounding yes—if she has found something that has helped in her journey, and she chooses to share it, we are all ears. If we refuse to allow our experts to give their own brand of straight-shooting advice, we aren’t who we say we are.
I’m very proud to say that we are creating a place where working women can discuss anything that affects their careers and lives—even when we stray out of the safe zones and into our ever-evolving, messy, imperfect, and splendid real lives.