Listening to shame

Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on.

This Brene Brown talk is the sequel to her June 2010 appearance at TEDx Houston. She describes the aftermath of her talk and the unexpected turmoil it caused her. She shares her own vulnerability and growing understanding of shame with panache.  And I challenge anyone who sees it not to cringe when they hear the words “Houston TED.”

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The power of vulnerability

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.

This Brene Brown talk should be immediately followed by her next.  Her dry self-effacing description of her path to discovering the importance of vulnerability and how it is often misunderstood should make you reconsider the risks you fear take and the ledges you shy away from jumping off. 

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The danger of a single story

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories.

I cannot believe that it took me so long to find this powerful TED talk given by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  In gentle compelling tones she paints a multi-faceted picture illustrating some unexpected ways we can be myopic in our views.

Her power comes from simplicity.   Ms. Adichie tells her own story of not matching the story others had created of her and of the mistaken story she herself created of someone else.

As I watcher her talk, I sheepishly wondered who I had placed in a box far too small to contain them.

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How to Suppress the Apology Reflex

In the workplace, standing up for yourself may mean having to overcome some of your cultural upbringing.


Lookout!! This is the tale of an Chinese-American woman that applies to people from many cultures. And not just in the domain of women or minorities.  Many professionals succumb to the urge to use “sorry” a word of many meanings — much like one might use “aloha” or “shalom.”      

Just stop. 

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