Vulnerability has many negative connotations. It evokes feelings of weakness, risk and surrender. We often equate leadership with strength, certainty and defense. Is there any time when it makes sense to be vulnerable as a leader? Is there a place for vulnerability in the workplace?
It’s worth noting that some of the most meaningful parts of life come when we open ourselves up to others. When we travel to new places, start learning a new skill or meet someone new, we are taking a risk. Every time a co-worker offers up a new idea or way of doing things, they are displaying vulnerability. As a matter of fact, Brene Brown, researcher at the University of Houston, says that “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, trust and engagement.”
For this reason, it’s worth asking a couple questions to explore our assumptions about vulnerability: