Vulnerability is at the core of the most stable relationships, and it can positively affect employee performance
Most people don’t want to hear about vulnerability. It is seen as being weak especially when discussed in the context of relationships and business. The norm today is to hide as much of your vulnerability as you can, but weirdly enough, we are attracted to people who are comfortable and real enough to be vulnerable with us.
For an emotionally intelligent leader, vulnerability is a powerful tool that can be harnessed and leveraged upon to get the best results from people. People need to understand to embrace who they are and be brave enough to ask for help where they fall short.
When people bury all the fears and vulnerability too deep, these wounds fester, and it affects us negatively. Creativity and innovation go out the window at this point. It can be very draining trying to hide vulnerabilities. The burden is carried entirely by you, and this is mainly driven by the notion that you must be strong enough to face the world alone.
When we accept ourselves for who we are and open our minds to our weaknesses, we begin to grow emotionally and create an environment safe for everyone to be creative. A leader needs to make it known that everybody has a role to play in the success of the endeavors together and no single person has all the answers so together the group can advance. These are ways in which you can harness the powers of vulnerability in your business.
1. Offering Help
It is a wonderful thing when people are transparent about their experiences. You don’t have to tell all your secrets to the world, but by being vulnerable and acknowledging our various weaknesses, we can create a safe space in the workplace where people can be more forthcoming and deal with the crisis more effectively.
2. Break down the fences
There is so much power to be harnessed from vulnerability, and a brave leader will be publicly vulnerable as this will help build very strong and stable relationships. Don’t get it wrong though, being vulnerable as a leader doesn’t mean you have to divulge your most personal secrets and cry with everyone. All it entails is being able to set aside pretences and just be real with everybody working with you. A vulnerable leader is calm even knowing he doesn’t have all the answers and is not afraid to be open about it.
Back in 2007, when Starbucks was facing one of their biggest crisis and their future was in jeopardy, Howard Schultz was able to motivate his employees by being open and straight with them telling them the company was at risk of going under. It was his transparency that brought a certain spark into his employees and helped them back on the path of recovery.
3. Change your mindset
You must begin to see the future of the business through the eyes of your employees. As you take a less involved role and watch others be in charge, your people will feel more attached and invested in the business, and new levels of commitment will be unlocked.
Entrepreneurs must change the traditional mindset of being completely in charge and begin to build trust and lead with transparency, accountability, and vulnerability.
4. Drop your ego
As a leader, you must be able to listen to what people have to say and drop your need to control all the narratives in every conversation or the vision of the company. When we free ourselves of our ego, we begin to understand what people have to say an engage properly with new ideas. Remember, everything is not about you but the people around you also.
5. Sharing is Growth
The secret to the success of businesses is understanding people. Marcus Lemonis made this known in his keynote address at Xerocon Austin in 2017. Marcus is a self-made millionaire and the star of the CNBC’s The Profit. He said: “vulnerability is the key to business, opening yourself up and showing people who you are.”
As leaders, you must begin to embrace vulnerability as a means to build better and stronger relationships with the people we work with.
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