My personal development book kick continues! I just finished Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. When I first started into this book, it seemed like it was geared toward corporate, big business leaders. While I think this would be helpful for someone in that position, there is also a lot of good information that can help ANYONE with interpersonal relationships. We all have to have tough conversations, right?

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with or endorsed by the publisher or author, and am receiving no compensation for writing this article. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

An idea that I thought was very poignant from this book is that any “brave” act will require vulnerability. Doesn’t matter if it’s on the battlefield or in a conference room. The reason it’s brave is because there is a risk that things could go wrong. Someone could get hurt (physically, emotionally, etc).


I love the idea that shame can’t survive empathy. Brene Brown gave a lot of great insight on empathy and common empathy misses. I didn’t realize there was such a distinction between empathy and sympathy. Brene gave a great RSA speech that was illustrated into a short animation that can be found on Youtube. I recommend checking it out because it shows the difference between empathy and sympathy really well. 

As I was reading through the empathy misses, I realized that I’ve fallen into several of them. In my attempts to make things better, I may have missed opportunities to sit in the discomfort and make deeper connections. I jump to problem solving or trying to encourage and lift someone’s spirits, when what they might need is to sit in the feeling, process, and work through it without feeling alone.


I also learned some really awesome communication tools from this book. A “confabulation” is a lie told honestly. When we don’t have all the information, our brain fills in the gaps with something false we believe to be true to make sense of the situation. These stories we tell ourselves pull from our insecurities and can lead us each to come to different perspectives and conclusions about the same event. Recognizing our emotions and fact checking these internal stories can help us have healthier conversations and relationships. Brene suggests using the phrase, “The story I’m telling myself is”… This helps clarify if you are interpreting the situation the same way as the person you are trying to communicate with. I think this tool alone could have prevented a lot of misunderstandings.

Dare to Lead

I thought this was a great read not only for leaders, but also for interpersonal communication. This book can help us have hard conversations in a productive way that leads us to better connect with those around us. I recommend you check it out, too!

Looking for another great self-help book? Check out Essentialism.

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