The Beauty In Beautiful

On Thursday night I looked over my daughter's shoulder as she was showing my wife a video she had made at her school with a group of girls called Beautiful.  It was simple.  Tell people on camera that they are beautiful and capture their reaction. I'm going to let you see this for yourself but it moved me.  When these girls were told they are beautiful everything softens.  They glow.  The room is warm.  There is a feeling of safety and honor, humility, courage, and power.    It is such an easy exercise.  Why does it sometimes feel so hard?

It is hard because of our armor.  We build armor over time to protect ourselves in many ways.  We build armor because we don't want to get hurt.  We build armor because we don't want to let our feelings out.  We build armor because there is a sense that we are always playing for some kind of victory.  Kids tend to have less armor because layers build with time and you see it in the video.  When they are told they are beautiful they don't fight it.  They play with it.  They appreciate it.  But for us, it's tough.  But what if it wasn't?

What if you peeled back some of those layers?  What would it look like?  Try it.  Tell someone how beautiful they are or how much you admire them or learn from them.    For your next 1:1 with members of your team, express authentically how much you appreciate their work.  When you get recognized in kind, celebrate it.  Don't rationalize why you're not "all that" but give that person giving you the compliment the gift of appreciation. 

Everything feels lighter when the armor comes off.  It's scary but it is the only way to lead in business and in life.  I would love to hear how you took off your armor and what you experienced by doing so.