The Power of Vulnerability

Vulnerability is about trust — the backbone of successful leadership. Employees and leaders who trust one another learn to be comfortable being open to one another around their failures, weaknesses, even fears.

Vulnerability-based trust is predicated on the simple–and practical idea–that people who aren’t afraid to admit the truth are not going to engage in the kind of political drama that sucks away everyone’s time and energy, and more importantly, gets in the way of accomplishing goals and results.

While some teams will work together for years and still distrust one another, others who have been together just a few weeks or months develop an amazing amount of trust. The key? In one word: Courage.

It’s going to take courage to show up with emotional honesty. It’s going to take courage to accept our shortcomings, or the things we are ashamed of as leaders. It’s going to take courage to release ourselves from the erroneous thinking that we have to be perfect and can’t make mistakes, have flaws, or be human.

It will take courage to open dialog about our mistakes, our failures and take accountability for them. It will take courage to admit our uncertainty in troubled times, and that we don’t have all the answers.

Strength in vulnerability will show up with statements like, “I have a confession to make” or “I’m really not sure where to go with this, what would you do in my situation?” or “I need some help here.” Getting it out in the open creates a space for authenticity and truth. That’s what we, as leaders, should model and replicate inside our organizations.

Summing-up: Being vulnerable gives your team members permission to do the same. You will experience more connection and more honest conversations as a result.

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