Showing Strength Through Vulnerability on International Men’s Day
What does it mean for men to show strength through vulnerability? We asked some of our men at TEKsystems.
International Men's Day (IMD) has been celebrated for more than two decades. Its purpose – to make a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys, promote the efforts of charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing and encourage positive conversations about men, manhood and masculinity.
In a fast-paced, corporate environment where your next deadline is looming, and customers are waiting on you to deliver, it can seem like there’s no time or space to stop and be vulnerable. In recognition of International Men’s Day and to support our male colleagues and customers, we encouraged some of our male leaders at TEKsystems to get talking on the topic of strength through vulnerability.
When asked what this concept means to them, here’s what they said:
“Showing vulnerability is being able to admit that everything is not okay. It isn’t a weakness, it’s a sign of awareness that something needs to change, and that you might need help to change it. It’s a process and it’s not always easy, but there’s no shame in it – we all face challenges and being vulnerable about them is a strength.”
Nick G., Account Director, London
“Being vulnerable is having the self-awareness to know that you can’t do everything alone. You can’t have all the answers all the time and it’s important to appreciate that there are a lot of things that are simply out of your control. It’s realising when you need help or support and being confident to ask for this from colleagues, friends or family.”
David A., Lead Account Manager, Manchester
“Vulnerability is leading with emotion and being truly authentic. On a daily basis, we all experience highs and lows and for me, being able to come to work and share those experiences and emotions with colleagues is key to feeling comfortable in the workplace. By showing vulnerability myself, I hope that I give others the confidence to share their highs and lows, helping to normalise these feelings and create a more compassionate, empathetic and understanding culture.”
Bilal H., Customer Success Leader, Manchester
A recent survey by The Priory Group revealed that 77% of men have suffered with common mental health problems at some point in their lives and 40% of those men have never spoken to anyone about it. The main reason that men keep quiet is that they’re often too embarrassed to speak out, while others say there is stigma attached to speaking out.
Two of our colleagues shared their thoughts on how these statistics resonated with them:
“Being vulnerable isn’t always easy. In the past, I haven’t wanted to burden people with my struggles. Showing strength through vulnerability is embracing imperfection and being emotionally open. Accepting that it’s okay not to be perfect. When I have found courage to speak up and share how I am really feeling, it has lightened the load on my shoulders, brought me peace and helped me build stronger, more meaningful relationships at work and at home.”
George M., Lead Consultant, Stockholm
“There are times in our life when we all struggle and some of us find it harder than others to talk. As I’ve gone through personal challenges, one thing I have found is that the longer I bottle it up, the worse it gets. When I have found the courage to talk, I have moved to a better, healthier and happier place. I have learned that the very process of talking has helped me connect with people and build the type of strong lasting relationships that we can all benefit from in our lives.”
Andy B., Executive Director of Business Transformation, Edinburgh
At TEKsystems, we’re dedicated to nurturing a culture that inspires performance, innovation and responsible action. We want our employees to show up as they are and achieve their goals, uplifting their teams, and contributing to the success of our customers, consultants and each other.
By providing a platform for our men to have a voice and show vulnerability on International Men’s Day, we hope to redefine what it means for a man to be strong, to encourage and support other male colleagues in the workplace and to help females to learn how to become better allies to male colleagues, friends and family.