Do You Practice The V Word?


(By Randy Lane)  “If you’ve created a work culture where vulnerability isn’t okay, you’ve also created a culture where innovation and creativity aren’t okay.” – Dr. Brené Brown

Right now, the hot buzzword in everything from relationships to business management Is vulnerability.

Most morning shows tend to focus on fun, humor, and objective information. The upside to humor is that it’s the number one emotion listeners want in morning shows today. As important as it is, the most successful shows combine humor with vulnerability.

Howard Stern is the poster boy for blending humor and vulnerability to the epitome of success. Kidd Kraddick and Kellie Raspberry also pioneered this powerful one-two content punch to great heights.

In life, we all go through an enormous array of emotions on the vulnerable side, including embarrassment, regret, sadness, doubt, fear, guilt, even depression. Shows without vulnerability come up short on authenticity.

Like in social media, air personalities tend to only show their positive characteristics. The Randy Lane Company coaches air talent to reveal quirks and flaws to be real and connect deeply with listeners.

Many talents are in a hurry to lighten up and get out of emotional moments and deeper conversations. One of our show hosts was asked by a guest relationship therapist how he felt about ending a long-term relationship. He quickly responded, “it’s best for both of us.”

The therapist delved deeper into the relationship, and the host ended up being overcome with emotion and started lightly crying. He was sure the audience would have a negative reaction, but to his surprise, he had a tremendous outpouring of support from listeners, including males.

In marketing, emotions drive successful ad campaigns. In the November issue of Ad Age, M.T. Fletcher makes the case that despite what people say in research studies and focus groups, they don’t make rational buying decisions, they make them on emotions. “Favoring facts over feelings is why clients get confused and agencies get misdirected. Stories that sell are human narratives, driven by empathy, not details.”

Like everything in life, balance is the key. The balance of humor and vulnerability ideally breaks down like this: 80% humor and fun, 20% vulnerability.

Contact Randy Lane by e-mail at [email protected].


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