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Didem Gurdur

I read the latest book by Brené Brown, which is called “Dare to Lead”, this week. I think it is impossible to be disappointed by her. I just love every little thing she says about our feelings, attitudes, communication skills, behaviors and more. At one point she talks about how she reminds herself that people are just people, by saying to herself “people, people, people”. I cannot describe the beauty of hearing this. It is described by an example and explained so purely that I just want to hug her really. You should read it to understand me.

This blog post is about the small things that we do not talk about but it means a lot when you somehow end up talking them, and the pleasure of sharing that small thing. A short story from yesterday and how the practice reminded me words of Brené over and over again.

I gave a talk yesterday. It was a very short summary of my findings on data and visual analytics for cyber-physical systems. My wonderful colleagues come by to listen to me. They are always kind and supportive, my people. I just love them! After the talk, I asked their feedback and we discussed our experiences during and after talks. It was so funny how we come to a point that we shared this little thing about our first conference. We all agreed and related with the feeling. The first day of your first conference, where you listen to all the speakers with a full concentration and try to understand what they try to say but end up feeling stupid and nervous because you do not understand what they were talking about. You think about that, you are not enough, you do not belong there, you will never succeed to be smart enough to know all of these theories or technologies.

All of us felt that way, none of us talk about it.

What a discovery!

Noone tells you that you do not need to understand everyone. It is fine to do not know one very detailed solution of one very specific problem which just by chance is presented in the session that you are in. But more importantly, if you do not understand it, it is not your fault. I am quite confident about this now. If I listen to someone and do not understand, it is their fault, not mine. I am here to listen but if people are not describing their topic in a clear way by considering their crowd, I will not feel myself bad or even sorry that I couldn’t grasp the idea. I feel little disappointed because I spend my time on something that did not make sense. But yeah what about all the other things that I spent a nonsense amount of time for? I do not like to make it a big deal either 😀 It happens…

Now, I am very excited to find about what else we have common but untold. I will try to make a list.

One small talk on a very small feeling, a short duration of naked vulnerability feeling and a huge relief of knowing that you are not alone accompanying with a liberating trust. I believe it is a really important exercise that should be part of our personal and work lives. We did not try to do it, it just happened by coincidence. But it reminded me many practices that Brené Brown was talking about. At the end of the day, as she says:

“People, people, people are just people, people, people.”

― Brené Brown, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.