Want to break the mold and become a better leader?
Let’s discuss how vulnerability and emotional openness could be the key to unlocking your leadership potential.
Vulnerability, at its core, ultimately does three things for you.
- Makes you more approachable.
- Creates meaningful connections
- Builds trust.
I discuss these three things in greater detail in today’s video and provide more insight below.
The Power of Vulnerability in Leadership: Cultivating Trust and Connection
Vulnerability makes you more approachable if you’re willing to share personal stories and experiences and let other people know that you don’t have all the answers; you’re going to be approached by them with a sense of, I can trust this person because they’re being honest and sincere with me.
It ultimately creates a more meaningful connection, which resides and grows within yourself. But it’s really about making that connection with the people around you.
And when you have that sense of connection with people around you, ultimately, you’re building a foundation of trust within your business. Any successful business has a robust and trustful foundation, and when people feel that they can lean into a team built on trust, they will be willing to take more risks. They’re going to be ready to fail forward. Not always have the answers. And this is how they’re going to grow, and this is how they’re going to expand. And this is what will allow you, in turn, to grow and develop in the process as well.
It’s understandable why you may feel reluctant about opening up this way. Your leadership and management paradigm has always said, don’t let your guard down. Don’t let anyone know that you don’t have all the answers. Because ultimately, at the end of the day, this is a sign of weakness. But we’ve discovered over time that this idea of it being a sign of weakness isn’t true.
We create meaningful connections by opening up to others. And so that old leadership style is really in the rearview mirror nowadays. It’s about being more vulnerable and open and creating that meaningful connection.
One of my clients was reluctant about opening up within his organization and then found a massive benefit after he did so. He was hugely successful in his business and reached a point where it was time to grow and expand. So he went out and acquired another company and then merged them.
Ultimately, what happened is that he had the culture that he had built, and now he was bringing in an entirely new culture. He had to have them merged so that they could communicate effectively. They could grow and move in one direction cohesively.
This was his first time doing this. So, like any other human being, you won’t have all the answers when you do something for the first time. And so here he was, sitting atop his organization, bringing in another thousand people, and everyone was looking to him regarding how they were supposed to behave and move forward. And he just wasn’t clear.
And so I asked him, What would it feel like to tell your people and the new people that you’re unsure of the best way forward from the onset?
After reluctance and feeling like he needed all the answers, he expressed himself honestly and said, “Hey, look, this is new to me. I’m excited that we’ve joined forces here, but I don’t have all the answers and am unclear on the next steps.”
It turns out that the people responded very well, mainly because everybody else in the organization was also nervous. His emotional openness opened the door for more significant discussion, ultimately allowing him to be more authentic with his leadership style.
If you’re an executive or business leader and want more support in these areas, I offer individual coaching; check it out here.
We also support companies and teams to get aligned through our Art Of Masterful Communication group coaching program.