People don’t usually think of the workplace as an environment for demonstrating vulnerability. Instead, they often see a place of business as where they go to perform a role.
Whether you’re the CEO of a large corporation or a new startup your focus undoubtedly has been largely on appearing professional. While professionalism is a necessary part of business, some surprising benefits result from leaders allowing vulnerability to enter the workplace. This can have a very positive effect on an organisation as follows:
- Fosters innovation
Every time a worker puts forward a new idea he / she displays vulnerability as they are challenging the old way of thinking and according to Dr Brene Brown (researcher at The University of Houston), vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, trust and engagement. It’s up to leaders to create an environment where workers feel save enough to propose new ideas.
- Improving motivation
Creating environments where employees’ well-being is important is motivational. Everybody has to deal with the trials and tribulations of everyday life from time to time; if people feel supported at work – this can really help to lighten the load and can be very motivational.
- Boosting teamwork
When employees experience empathy in the workplace – they will feel much more bonded there and therefore more likely to work well in teams and enjoy what they do – it can engender fun and people who are happy perform better.
- Promoting identification with leadership
When company leaders practice vulnerability e.g. sharing their disappointment about poor results or their passion and excitement for something new then this aligns them more with their workforce. Letting people in on things is one of the best motivators of people.
Dr Brene Brown, seen here in this Ted Talk was not only humourous but very insightful – see what you think? She questions if vulnerability is the same as weakness. She says, “we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.”
On The Power of Vulnerability, Dr. Brown offers an invitation and a promise—that when we dare to drop the armour that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Here she dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and reveals that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.