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EP. 14 How to use Vulnerability to Connect with Your Team

Team Anywhere Leadership Podcast

Nov 9 2020 • 43 mins

Mike Robbins is the author of five books, including his brand new title, WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER: Creating a Team Culture of High Performance, Trust, and Belonging.  For the past 20 years, he’s been a sought-after speaker and consultant who delivers keynotes and seminars for some of the top organizations in the world.

His clients include Google, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Genentech, eBay, Harvard University, Gap, LinkedIn, the Oakland A’s, and many others.

He and his work have been featured in the New York Times and the Harvard Business Review, as well as on NPR and ABC News.  He’s a regular contributor to Forbes, hosts his own podcast (called We’re All in This Together), and his books have been translated into 15 different languages.

How did the book, “We’re All in This Together” come to fruition?

Within weeks of releasing his recent book, Bring Your Whole Self to Work, Mike got an urgent feeling to write a new book. Despite the feedback encouraging him to not write a book (due to the time-commitment), Mike pushed to write his new book. Within three weeks of his book release, he began writing  We’re all in this together, which was released just before the pandemic hit.

With his book released this year, Mike’s message to leaders anywhere is that when you are getting a message, a gut feeling, an intuition, you should listen to it. It’s telling you something for a reason and we don’t always listen to it like we should.

Embracing Authenticity

As an audible learner and extrovert, the podcast process has helped Mike manage his own mental and emotional being. He’s noticed the more personal he gets, the more universally he connects with people. Because of this, he doesn’t shy away from asking the questions on his mind that seem vulnerable at first.


THE MORE PERSONAL, THE MORE UNIVERSAL. Leaders need to embrace the fear of sharing what’s really on their mind, because it’s likely on someone else’s mind..

Leadership Changes Since the Pandemic:

There’s this paradox leaders are experiencing through the pandemic which is that physically, we are more disconnected with each other than we’ve ever been. Yet, at the same time, we’re seeing inside each other’s lives on our video calls. We’re seeing parts of each other's lives that we typically don’t see in the office. (The inside of people’s, houses, their pets, their kids). There’s a level of vulnerability these video calls are actually creating which is allowing for leaders to connect with their team.

Mike mentioned, “what if we went through this pandemic in the 70’s?” It’s really extraordinary the things we can do and the way we can do them right now. One perspective change in having video calls is that we can be thankful first that we have jobs where we can be at home and continue to work, and second that we have this amazing technology that is allowing us to do that as we make it through this pandemic.


Mike says he’s not someone who “presents” as a lonely person. So when he would experience it, he would deny that emotion. Happy, positive people feel lonely. If we deny or mute one emotion, we mute all of our emotions. “You can’t just turn off one emotion.” During this pandemic, he’s been focusing on allowing himself to feel vulnerable. Feelings are meant to be felt, whether we like them or not.

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