Being vulnerable is difficult for many of us. But, when we acknowledge, accept, and expose the things that make us vulnerable, we give ourselves the power to form more compelling connections. In turn, we promote positive growth and drive transformational change in all aspects of our lives.

Rob Siegfried, CEO and Founder of The Siegfried Group, LLP (Siegfried) calls these compelling connections “angels” and strongly believes in our power to not only see and appreciate the angels in our lives, but to become an angel to others through vulnerability.

The path to vulnerability has many hills and valleys, and it may be challenging to see the way forward. At Siegfried’s 19th MY Journey® event, Firm employees gained three insights into how you can become more vulnerable to create more powerfully compelling connections.

Be authentic (or stop being inauthentic)

Being who you are — being authentic — may seem like a difficult task to master, but it’s at the heart of every meaningful relationship, interaction, and memory in your life. We are moved by and attracted to authentic people who are confident in being themselves, and who encourage us to be ourselves.

According to the podcast Art of Charm, we are primed to recognize and respond to authenticity. “We know it when we see it. And it feels good. It feels true. It feels like something real, which is why it resonates so strongly with us.”

“Our lives shouldn’t be about the pursuit of invincibility, but about the journey to finding our truest and deepest selves, which happens when we drop our masks and make ourselves vulnerable,” said Father Chris Beretta, principal of Salesianum School in Wilmington, DE.

If you find yourself saying something you don’t believe or pretending to feel something you don’t, it may be time to drop your social mask and reveal your authentic self.

 Ask good questions often

Asking powerful questions of the people in your life gives you the opportunity to strengthen your relationships with them. It can be uncomfortable to put someone on the spot (or be put on the spot); however, Rob advised the audience, “your ability to ask thoughtful, reflective questions and to answer these questions honestly is essential to creating compelling connections.”

Rob’s advice is echoed in The Surprising Power of Questions from Harvard Business Review: “Questions are such powerful tools that they can be beneficial — perhaps particularly so — in circumstances when question asking goes against social norms.”

Focus on being an attentive listener to become an active and engaged question asker. And put an equal focus on being vulnerable and sharing open and honest answers when people ask you questions. This way, you can form more meaningful connections and build higher levels of trust.

Choose to be vulnerable

Being truly vulnerable and reaping the benefits that come with that begins with you and with your choice to find confidence in your unique self.

Meaningful relationships can transform your life and your leadership capabilities. Your “angels” believe in you and support your dreams, passions, and strengths. “They are honest with you and encourage you bring, be, and become your best,” says Rob. “And, if you want more of these angels in your life, and if you want to become an angel to others, you must choose to embrace your vulnerability.”

Although many find vulnerability uncomfortable, it is the first step to developing deep, compelling connections with other people.

Rob Siegfried, Father Chris Beretta, Shane Feldman, and Jessie Funk were the main speakers at Siegfried’s 19th MY Journey® event, which was hosted by Rob to help his employees focus on their personal and professional development.