Misery loves company. Chances are you've heard that saying. Chances are you've experienced that saying. As a leadership consultant, I see it all the time. It can start as one team member and before long, the entire team is miserable. We can't underestimate the influence of the people around us.
Bravery loves company. But here's the thing. Bravery loves company, too! Last week I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Governor's Inter-Agency Committee of State Employed Women (ICSEW) conference and we spent the entire morning exploring about our strengths. How to discover them and how to live them.
As part of the workshop everyone identified their top three goals. Then folks partnered up to coach each other on how to use their strengths to reach their goals. A woman in the audience stood up and shared her goals. She was brave and real and vulnerable. As she shared her goals with over 100 people you could have heard a pin drop. She shared her real goals. She could have taken the easy way out and shared the goals that we've all heard before. But instead she shared her real self with all of us.
What happened next was breathtaking. The support and encouragement and love that came from the audience took my breath away. I didn't realize I was tearing up until I felt the tear on my cheek. It was such a beautiful moment to be a part of.
Yes, misery loves company. But so does bravery. And love. And kindness. And compassion. And honesty. And the kind of courage that allowed a woman to stand in front of a conference and share her heart. Because of her, I walked out feeling braver and I know I wasn't the only one.