Vulnerability that changes lives

By Roy Inzunza

Roy Inzunza is the founder and CEO of Square Patch, Inc. here in Carlsbad, CA, a staff care and employee engagement service which seeks to promote meaning, purpose, and growth, both personally and professionally. Roy is known around town as a guy who makes his life available to others and the impact he's made through his own vulnerability is something that will never be able to be measured. We asked Roy to share some thoughts about how to create space for others to impact them in positive ways.

We are made for glory and wonder.
We are made to create and produce.
We are made to prosper and thrive.

But I don’t always feel like I’m living in that zone, in that flow of consciousness and reality.

Instead, there are times when I feel like I’m stuck, in a funk, or frustrated because I want to be a certain type of person or achieve something in this world.  And I’ve learned that I’m not the only person that has these feelings, thoughts, or struggles.  

Pain has taught us that life will have twists and turns.  Life is teaching us that it can be a struggle and that the struggle is real.  

In my workplace, I interact with people who, at times, feel stuck.  After all these years, it still feels like a deep honor to me when we go out to lunch or sit in my quiet office and they begin to share their life material with me.  

If the aim is the transformation in our lives in order to become formed into the people that we long to be, what is my stance and disposition as the listener?  In other words, who do I need to be in order for others to open up and be vulnerable as a necessary means towards transformation?

To begin, here are some inner framework concepts that I think are invaluable to becoming someone that others will open up to:

  • AUTHENTICITY Be committed to growth in your own personal life.  Transformation and growth take effort.  We need to be engaged in that effort.
  • GO FIRST We need a community of people that listen well and that we feel safe with to open up.  We gotta practice what we preach.  
  • MAKE SPACE I long to be a person of compassion and understanding.  This translates into how my presence (and essence) makes others feel.  Others can feel that and it will help create a sense of safety.
  • LOVE I genuinely love and believe in others.  This seems like an obvious trait to have.  But you’d be surprised.  
  • COME ALONGSIDE See yourself as a partner in their journey.  I’m not so much a subject matter expert as much as I am a partner in their personal growth.  I understand that it’s ultimately the other person’s responsibility to grow.  But we need others in the process.  We need partners that are FOR US.

Practically, here are some things that I might say or do:  

  • Let others know that what we talk about stays between us.  I think it’s implicit but sometimes it helps to say it.  We need safe spaces to process our life material.
  • Ask them what they’d like to discuss and accomplish during your time together.  Again, they’re in charge and responsible.  So the great question is, “What do you want?”
  • Notice how you feel when they’re sharing.  Do you feel sadness, anger, confusion, empty, joyful?  Pay attention to these feelings and use them as a means to connect with the person.  
  • “Share more about that”.  This is an easy one to elicit more content based on something they said.  It could be a quick word they said in passing, but it caught your attention.  It might be worth exploring.
  • Help others share more about their feelings and experiences.  These are the inner movements occurring that most of us aren’t in touch with on a daily basis, but are ruling us in our decision-making process (i.e. I know having a savings plan is important but I feel anxious when I have money in my pocket).

Helping others grow begins with our own sense of being.  We can then learn and apply methods that are helpful in the listening process, aiding others to be more open and vulnerable.

Roy Inzunza is a contemporary man of the Renaissance. Whether it's jamming on a drum kit or talking philosophy, he will wow you with his breadth of knowledge and depth of experience. You can learn more about his work with Square Patch, Inc and connect with him via LinkedIn.