Let’s Get Naked for Halloween!

Congratulations on making it to the other side of the October 15 deadlines! Just like that, Halloween is right around the corner. Personally, Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. It’s the only time of year where it’s socially acceptable to scare each other! Isn’t it fun?!

As parents, we love to see our children get into the spirit of things. This year, Brian’s 10 year old son, Brandon, decided to be Master Chief. For those of you who don’t know (Sarah sure didn’t!!), Master Chief is the main character in a video game called Halo. 

Halloween is an obvious time for masks…but is this really the only time we wear them? Have you ever stopped to think about what masks you may be wearing to work? As coaches, some of the masks we most commonly notice (and ones we have sometimes worn ourselves!) include the following:

  • The “I have it all together” mask (a.k.a. the “I’m in total control” mask)
  • The “Chief Problem Solver” mask ( a.k.a. the “I really know my stuff” mask)
  • The “I’m busy and important!” mask

These masks may not be as obvious as the ones we see on Halloween, but in the end, they have the same effect: to hide who we really are from others. Why do we do this? Perhaps it’s because we’re afraid of…

  • Not being accepted by others, so we try to protect ourselves by hiding our imperfections to “fit in.”
  • Not measuring up, so we project an image of who we think we’re supposed to be, or who we think others want us to be.
  • Not being good enough, so we hide our insecurities.

Oftentimes, it may feel like our masks give us a sense of security and protect a vulnerable part of ourselves. But ultimately, they rob us of the opportunity to genuinely connect with those around us.

When you have the courage to take off your mask and “get naked,” you give someone else the chance to learn from you. You give them permission to take off their own mask and share what’s really going on for them. And when we see one another more clearly, we can help each other much more effectively.

(By the way, Brian will be talking all about masks and getting naked during his keynote on Naked Leadership at the Winning is Everything Conference in January. More info below – we hope to see you there!)

This Halloween, we dare you to turn inward and ask yourself:

  • What masks might I be wearing in the workplace?
  • What fears am I brave enough to face by taking off a mask?
  • What might I (and those I lead) gain when I take the risk and “get naked?”

Who knows? It might not turn out as scary as you think! Happy Halloween!!

“When you have the courage to take off your mask and ‘get naked,’ you give someone else the chance to learn from you.”