The Atlas of the Heart. By Brené Brown.

At Lead Vantage, we often refer to the work of Brené Brown as she provides rich learning and powerful takeaways on how to show up better both personally and professionally. 

It was a Brené Brown reading marathon this past weekend. In this blog, we will be referring to her latest book called “The Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience.” In this book, she walks the reader through emotions (87 emotions in total!) and how understanding and tapping into these allows us to be better communicators, have better relationships, and have higher EQ.

While much of this book focuses on our personal connections with one another, it also correlates to how we show up and connect with others in the workplace. Some of the quotes that we highlighted (and will be bringing up in our leadership workshops) include:

  • “The ability to embrace vulnerability emerged as the prerequisite for all of the daring leadership behaviors. If we can’t handle uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure in a way that aligns with our values and furthers are organizational goals, we can’t lead.”

  • “Vulnerability is the first thing we look for in other people, and the last thing we want to show them about ourselves.”

  • “Empathy has a huge upside … Empathy helps interpersonal decision-making; facilitates ethical decision-making and moral judgments; enhances short-term subjective well-being; strengthens relational bonds; allows people to better understand how others see them; and enhances prosocial and altruistic behavior.”

  • We must “help create safe places of belonging.”

  • “When the culture of a corporation mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of that system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of individuals or communities, you can be certain [that] complicity is part of the culture… Accountability is dead… Control and fear are management tools.”

  • “Language matters. It’s the raw material of story, it changes how we feel about ourselves and others, and it’s a portal to connection.”

  • “People should feel a strong sense of belonging in an organization and shape the culture through representation, co-creation, influence, and that inextricable, unnameable, spiritual connection that is shared humanity. Anything less is not enough.”

  • “Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued.”

We believe that great leadership is only possible in the presence of strong relationships and strong connections. Therefore, being in tune with our own emotions and our team members’ emotions will allow us to instill trust, build strong and deeper relationships, engage more readily, show up with vulnerability and courage, and truly support our teams.

Sofia Arisheh

Sofia Arisheh

Sofia Arisheh is a certified HR strategist, leader, and educator with extensive experience in multiple sectors. She specializes in aligning HR strategy with business strategy, focusing on employee-centric approaches to drive better business results.

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