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Lead with Vulnerability: 4 Ways Leaders Can Connect with Teams

By June 1, 2023No Comments

Imagine creating a more meaningful connection with your team, getting them to do what you want them to do, and then simultaneously unlocking their most significant level of potential. 

In this video, I will show you four practical tips on how to do that and how you can become an influential leader in the process. 

Having developed leaders across the globe, I’ve found that what separates great leaders from average leaders is their ability to create meaningful connections with the people around them. 

As a leader, an executive, or a manager, it becomes pivotal to embrace vulnerability and authenticity to create the connections you desire. It’s about unlocking everybody’s full potential. And that’s why today I will give you four tips on how to do that. 


The first tip is to listen first and to talk second. As a leader, you have many ideas, history, and experience that you want to bring to the table. And there is this desire to be successful in how you do it. Many leaders miss the mark because they don’t allow the people around them to speak, listen, and learn what they have to say. 

So you must listen to people’s ideas and welcome their feedback. Listening is the ultimate leadership skill. It’s super easy to do. You show up and listen, yet many people don’t do it well. So what gets in the way of being a good listener? 

Well, there’s a tendency for people to want to sound smart. They’re excited to share their ideas or too distracted by all the noises around them. A good practice to put into play when you’re engaging with somebody on your team or just somebody in general, is to remind yourself that you’re showing up for them in that moment. You’re showing up as your whole self, attending to their needs, focused on what they have to say, and at that moment, you’re putting your needs. Second, this energy and vibe build trust with the people around you. And now they feel free to share and know you will be there to receive whatever they say. 

Now, you’ll never agree with everything anybody says, right? But the key is if there is a disagreement, not to take it personally and to, again, show up and listen, take in the information, and then it gives you time to stop, reflect, and determine what you want to do next. 


The second tip is to share your personal stories. The way that we connect is on a human level. So the people working around you, with or under you, will want to know where you came from. 

What are your experiences where some real-life applications that they can relate to highlight times when you took risks and let them know when things didn’t go all that well? Don’t pretend that you have all the answers, that everything’s been smooth up to that point. People are going to relate to the pains and the challenges that you’ve experienced in the past. 

Personal stories, when you have that opportunity to share with people, this is how you create meaningful connections. And if you want to build a team that will move into a cohesive and collaborative unit, you must build trust. And this is the only way to do it. Let’s say you give a story or share an experience of rejection. Perhaps you didn’t get a job that you wanted in the past by opening up and sharing your own stories. That gives the person on the other end an opportunity to say, okay, I don’t have to be perfect, and they actually can learn from you. 

This allows people to fail forward in the present moment, meaning they can give their best. They don’t have to worry about being perfect and can move forward. Sharing your personal stories from my experiences is the best way that you’re going to be able to connect to the people around you. 


You are a representative that people will look up to, and to be that authoritative figure you want to hold; you must make time to rejuvenate. You have to make time to relax, and you have to make time to de-stress by doing things in your personal life that activate your creative energy and keep you feeling excited about the mundane tasks that lie ahead. 

Now, when I say take care of yourself, Often the first place people go is physically like, get in the gym and go for a walk, run, surf. All those things are essential, but there are multiple layers to taking care of yourself that also exist on the emotional and spiritual levels. 

On the emotional level, you’ve got to check how you deal with stress when you get triggered, and emotions start rising to the surface. Are you being emotionally responsible? Are you responding to challenging situations, or are you just reacting? Responding is when you give yourself a minute to say, okay, this experience doesn’t feel great; I’m going to reflect, I’m going to pause, and then going to move forward in a way that’s going to be constructive and then are you spiritually healthy? Do you have a practice that aligns the energy within yourself that allows you to move through your days, enabling you to move through your days with some peace and a sense of prosperity? 

Everything’s not always going to be smooth. The more you can bring mindset practices like going for walks and meditation, the better off you’ll be in your day-to-day. 


The fourth tip is to encourage collaboration and creativity. The more vulnerable you are, the more authentic you are, and the more you will be able to create these spaces where people feel they can step in and be accurate, collaborative, and vulnerable. 

This is how new ideas are born. This is how people build on previous ideas. This is how people feel they can take risks in moving forward with something that may seem out of the ordinary through creativity and collaboration. 

You can take those ideas and collectively move through them in a way that will be supportive and uplifting. It’s about supporting open dialog. As a leader, you have your ideas. But to be a proficient leader, you’ve got to allow those ideas from others to percolate, to have the dialog that goes back and forth so that you can then gather that information and use it to your advantage. 

So rather than saying, okay, everybody, this is what we’re going to do, you could step into a conversation with team members and say, How is the best way to move forward? What would it look like if we were to get stuck in a particular situation? These powerful questions start with what and how; they’re open-ended. 

They give people an opportunity to explore, and when they have that opportunity, everyone can take a moment to reflect, gather their insights and then collectively move forward and take action. 


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