How to Share Your Powerful Purpose with Others
Doing the hard work of excavating a powerful personal purpose and connecting it to your company purpose is something to certainly be proud of. Countless leaders, employees, coaches and other professionals have gone through our purpose workshop and many (if not most) have iterated that our workshop prompts them to see themselves in a new light, unlike other development work they’ve done before.
Executive coach Ralph Dise, who attended our Couragify Your Culture in-person workshop as part of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Cleveland Chapter, says, “[Corey’s] workshop is one of the best I’ve ever attended in (gulp) forty years of workshops, presentations, and people development seminars.”
Priscilla Luzader Pipho, MPA, a culture coach who attended Our Courageous Culture: My Powerful Purpose over Zoom through the Small Giants community, said, “The work you are doing is inspired. The workshop was such a simple yet powerful exercise that articulates something everyone needs.”
There’s no denying your purpose and its magnetic pull over your identity. And yet, once you’ve excavated such a powerful purpose for your life and work, what do you do with it?
Hopefully, you sit with it for a while, ruminating on how deeply personal and RIGHT it feels, and then you continue to revise the language until it feels closer to the center of the bullseye.
But there comes a time when it’s important to share your purpose with others. Speaking the words out loud to other people offers immense value in the process of stepping further into the ownership of your purpose.
Corey Blake offers his below methodology for how to share your purpose with others when you are ready to do so.
Sharing Your Purpose Out Loud For the First Time
Find Your Safest Space
When first practicing vulnerability, it is important for you to know where to find your safest space. Safe spaces are the people in your life who can see and hear the real you and reserve judgment. For some of us, that person is a sibling or a parent, a friend or a mentor, a teacher or a spouse.
You likely know in your gut who you trust the most with whom you can practice vulnerability. This is the person you want to share your purpose statement with first.
Set the Stage for Sharing
It is important to set the stage for a successful outcome. Vulnerability is intensely personal, so you want to give yourself the best chance of a validating experience.
Follow these steps with the person you trust the most:
Ask them if they can agree to be present, to listen, and to reserve judgment as you share.
Ask them what might distract them from being completely present for you. If there are reasons that they cannot be fully available in the moment (sick child, waiting on a call from the hospital, etc), then negotiate a better time and place when they can be fully attentive to your conversation.
Make them aware that you don’t want them to try to solve your problems or rescue you from your emotions. You’re just asking them to be present, listen, and reserve judgment.
Give them some structure when it is time to share by using this script: “I’ve been working on a personal purpose statement that feels vulnerable to share. I’ve been given an assignment to share it with you by reading these instructions, then reading my purpose statement twice, and lastly, asking you three questions. Afterward, I’m going to thank you, and then I will need to excuse myself to go and journal about this experience. If we both feel like there is more to talk about, we can come back together later. Are you ready to hear my purpose statement?”
Take a breath, and then slowly, read aloud your purpose statement. Wait a few seconds, and then read it again.
- After you’ve read it, we recommend you ask them these three questions:
Question 1: Of everything you heard, what stood out the most?
Question 2: As you listened, what was one thing you noticed happening within you? One thing the words made you feel? (An advanced option is to ask them what they felt in their body as they listened. For example, did they feel the weight on their shoulders of what you shared? Did they feel sick to their stomach? Did they feel their chest swell with pride for you?)
Question 3: In what ways does this statement feel like “me” to you?
Once you’ve completed the questions, feel free to express your gratitude in whatever way feels good to you, and then excuse yourself for the final portion of this exercise.
Reflect on This Experience of Sharing Purpose
For the final portion of Corey’s “assignment,” seek out a quiet, undistracted space and spend 10 minutes journaling responses to the following:
How did it feel to hear yourself speaking your purpose aloud to someone who was listening?
Of everything they shared in response to your three questions, what’s the one thing that struck you most and made an impact on you?
Make note of anything else they shared that was particularly impactful for you to hear.
List any other questions you still feel compelled to ask, should you discuss your purpose with this person again.
Lastly, take note of how you are feeling now.
What’s Next? Build Your Confidence
You’ve found someone you consider to be a safe space, you’ve set the stage for vulnerability, and you’ve shared your purpose statement. Hopefully you were received without judgment. Hopefully you felt loved.
Like many of my clients, you might already be disregarding that person you shared your purpose statement with by saying to yourself that they had to respond well because they love you. And while it is natural to take for granted the positive reward we initially feel from vulnerability, it’s important to congratulate yourself for taking the first step and sharing something so personal.
And it is now time to move into territory that you consider to be slightly less safe. Go to someone with whom you’d feel just a touch more anxiety to share your purpose with. Set the stage with them (as instructed above) and practice again. If you shared with a spouse or life partner first, you might go to a sibling next, or a best friend or mentor. After sharing, you may find similar reactions from this second person as you did with your first person. After all, this is likely still a loved one, who is invested in your well-being. You might feel like they have to “love” your purpose because they love you.
Congratulate yourself for taking this second step AND I encourage you to repeat the process a third and final time with someone you consider slightly less safe—someone who is probably not one of your “loved” ones. Typically those you work with—a colleague, coworker, or work buddy—fall into this third category. If this step is starting to push your level of discomfort, that’s a good sign (as long as it doesn’t incapacitate you!). Lean in if you can. Enjoy the process. And see how you feel after the third share. If you’re like most of our clients, it’s this third share that offers a unique opportunity of transformation.
As you continue leaning in, consider this:
What would your world look like if you could be yourself fully at work?