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1/ TweetRainCloud about vulnerability:

Last week I had a 15 minute convo w/ a VC that was the single best conversation I’ve ever had with a VC.
2/ He is an investor in our company. Point of the conversation was work but we started by talking about our families. He talked in an unfiltered way that I find exceptionally rare in a VC-Portco context. Or…candidly with almost any VCs.
3/ He shared candid stories about his kids, their struggles, his family & marriage and the rollercoaster that is marriage & life. All normal stuff with the big ups and downs of life over the decades. But generously exposed in a way that built the relationship and drew me closer.
4/ I dont know why it went this path- maybe because he was open, maybe because I was asking questions, maybe we both lucked out. But I'm so happy he shared.
5/ He talked about the importance of therapy and getting through the hard times. He was raw and appropriately vulnerable about real struggles. He talked a lot about how he felt throughout the hardest times with specific examples and a lot of feeling language. ("I feel.....")
6/ “I felt insecure” was a phrase he used more than once. When he used that language I felt closer to him, trusted him more. He was so human that I was inspired.
7/ I felt connected to him, I understood him and his past better. I wanted to work with him even more.

And I also felt more confident somehow that he understood my journey.
8/ Maybe it is the façade I perceive most VCs (and most tech CEOs) put on, but when I hear a VC just talk about their wins, I trust them less.

Everyone has struggles- personal and professional.
9/ I trust more when I think the other person is being authentic.

Authenticity to me is connected to (appropriate) vulnerability.
10/ I mention all of this because I think so few VCs talk this way. I wish more did.

My reaction to his sharing might be unique but I doubt it. And I think if more VCs were as authentic as he was in that conversation, their relationships with founders would be stronger.
11/ I don't think VCs and founders need to be best friends. Or perhaps even friends. But I think authenticity (and vulnerability) helps create a more productive dialogue and a foundation of trust. Which is a good thing.

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