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What’s the Importance of Vulnerability in Business?

Vulnerability is a word that is often associated with weakness in the business world. It brings to mind feelings of insecurity and exposure. But is vulnerability truly a weakness in the business world, or is it something that can actually make us stronger?

Vulnerability is the state of being open and exposed to potential harm or damage. It is the willingness to let others see our true selves, including our flaws and weaknesses. In the cut-throat business world, where competition is fierce and the pressure to succeed is high, vulnerability can seem like a liability.

However, recent research suggests that vulnerability can actually be a source of strength in the business world.

Vulnerability allows leaders to connect with their employees on a deeper level. It helps to build trust and intimacy in the workplace, fostering a more positive and productive work environment.

When leaders are willing to be vulnerable and share their own weaknesses and challenges, it helps to break down the hierarchy and create a sense of equality among the team. This can lead to greater employee engagement and motivation.

Vulnerability also allows for more authentic and genuine communication in the workplace. When leaders are willing to be vulnerable, they are more likely to speak their truth, share their authentic selves, and be true to their values and beliefs. This can be empowering for employees, as it creates a sense of transparency and trust within the organization.

Furthermore, vulnerability allows leaders to face their fears and to grow. When leaders are willing to be vulnerable, they are more likely to take risks and to step outside of their comfort zones. This can be uncomfortable and scary, but it can also lead to personal and professional growth and development.

Many would agree that vulnerability rather than being a weakness in the business world, is a strength that allows leaders to connect with their employees, to be authentic and genuine, and to grow as individuals and as leaders. It allows leaders to be fully human and to experience richness and depth even in the world of business.

So maybe next time you feel vulnerable as a business leader, you might try to see it as an opportunity for growth and connection, rather than a weakness.

You can try the following exercise that can help you and your team practice vulnerability. It is called ”Vulnerability Share-Out."

Here's how it works:

Set aside a dedicated time for the exercise, such as a team meeting or training session.

Explain the purpose of the exercise and the importance of vulnerability in the workplace.

Start by sharing something personal and vulnerable about yourself.

This could be a recent failure, a personal challenge, or something you are struggling with. Encourage the rest of the team to be open and honest in their sharing.

After you have shared, go around the room and have each team member share something personal and vulnerable in turn. Encourage team members to listen actively and with empathy to their colleagues’ stories.

Once everyone has shared, debrief the exercise as a group. Talk about the experiences of sharing and receiving vulnerability, and the impact it had on the team dynamic.

Encourage team members to continue to practice vulnerability in their interactions with each other and with colleagues outside the team.

It's important to note that, this exercise should be done in a safe and secure environment where participants feel comfortable sharing their vulnerability and respecting each other's vulnerability.

This exercise can be done periodically to maintain the culture of vulnerability and trust in the team. If you would like us to facilitate this exercise and maybe even other teambuilding exercises get in touch with us and book a 15 minute exploratory call.

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