Why Being Vulnerable Will Make You A Better Designer
You need to open up to solve problems. To open up you need to be willing to be vulnerable. Simple really 😉
When I was seven years old, my Dad died of cancer. He was thirty-six years old.
Mum, myself and my two brothers were left living on a farm in Scotland.
Looking back we were extremely vulnerable after his death. My father was the breadwinner. He’d moved from engineering to studying agriculture in his thirties, to take over my grandfather’s farm. A few years later he passed away.
This isn’t a unique story. I know many people who’ve been handed much worse cards than me.
The point is I don’t feel entirely comfortable writing it down. It’s family; it’s close to the bone. It’s an area of my life I’ve never published.
Doing it makes me a better writer. It pushes me. It makes me open up. It helps me get used to showing my vulnerabilities. Rather than hiding them.
Brené Brown (author of Daring Greatly) puts a nice slant on her thoughts on vulnerability.
“I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few.” (Brené Brown)
OK, so what the hell does this have to do with you becoming a better designer?
Well, in my four years of being a Designer I’ve found that every time I’ve opened up to an area I knew little about or didn’t feel comfortable getting into, lots changed. I learnt about it. Piece by piece designing started to make more sense.
As designers our world is uncertain. Being vulnerable allows new stuff in, pushing us forward.
“It turns out that vulnerability is a sort of power for us designers. Simply put, being vulnerable leads designers to solutions.”
Here’s a few reasons why being vulnerable will make you a better designer:
It creates better innovation
“When there’s no risk, no failure, and no disappointment, there’s no innovation” (Brene Brown)
Paul Sloane puts it that creativity is thinking of something new and innovation is the implementation of something new.
To implement something new that addresses a real challenge and adds value to the company/customer and comes from a different way of thinking you need to take a risk and put yourself out there.
If you’re not willing to be laughed at, you won’t create something innovative. You need to be comfortable being vulnerable to innovate.