Tiger Woods’ reputation has taken many hits through the years. However, the golf icon has done his part to earn Best Communicator of the Month.
After learning of Dillon, a high school student who was being bullied for a stuttering problem, Woods reached out to the teenager to share his own struggles:
"I know what it's like to be different and to sometimes not fit in. I also stuttered as a child, and I would talk to my dog, and he would sit there and listen until he fell asleep. I also took a class for two years to help me, and I finally learned to stop. I was younger than most of the kids I competed against and often I was the only minority player in the field. But I didn't let that stop me, and I think it even inspired me to work harder. I know you can do that too."
Since receiving the letter, Dillon has become a much happier person.
Woods teaches us all valuable lessons about empathy and vulnerability. As a leader, you may be reluctant to expose your weaknesses; however, being vulnerable in the workplace can be beneficial. You show your human side, warts and all, and that allows you to connect more deeply with employees.
More important, however, is that it allows you to coach employees using real-life stories of your own failures and weaknesses and how you overcame those challenges. Those accounts are more meaningful to employees, and they motivate and empower them to recover and move forward.