Vulnerable Leadership: The Key To Building Trust

What is vulnerable leadership? How do you build trust with your team? Leadership skills are important, but perhaps the most valuable is the one that terrifies us the most: Vulnerability.

It can be difficult to show ourselves as we are with our team, especially when we are in a “boss” or “leader” role. But vulnerability does not equal weakness; it actually empowers and creates a stronger team. 

In this episode of Bootstrappers, you’ll learn from Jeff Grewe how to be vulnerable with your team to build trust, motivate them, and create growth for both your company and yourself.

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Create an Organization You Will want to Work for

To open up a space for vulnerability and trust, your team must feel that they are in a safe place, a palace where they are making a change and feel valued. Your job is to make the company one that you and your team actually would want to work for. 

An organization’s mission should serve its people. This means creating policies and practices that prioritize employee well-being and satisfaction. It’s about recognizing that your employees are not just resources.

Authentic leaders are transparent, consistent, and true to their values. They don’t put on a facade or hide behind a professional mask. Instead, they show up as they are, demonstrating both their strengths and weaknesses.

Vulnerability vs. Oversharing

Navigating the fine line between vulnerability and oversharing can be a delicate process, especially in a professional setting. The vulnerability involves openness and authenticity, while oversharing can lead to discomfort or awkwardness. How can you avoid crossing this line?

A good rule of thumb is to consider the relevance and impact of what you’re sharing. If an issue is directly affecting your job performance or your ability to fulfill your responsibilities, it might be appropriate to share it with your team or supervisor. For example, if you’re going through a challenging situation at home that’s causing you stress and affecting your focus at work, it may be worth discussing.

However, if what you’re dealing with is deeply personal and not directly impacting your work, it might be best to keep it to yourself or discuss it with a trusted friend or family member outside of work.


When to Ask for Help?

Let’s be honest; as leaders, we have a lot on our plate, and it will be impossible to help everyone all the time. Asking for help, It’s not a sign of weakness but rather an indication of self-awareness and a willingness to learn and grow.

The first step is acknowledging when you or your team needs assistance. As a leader, there will be times when your team members come to you for help, and you might have the time and disposition but not the answers, and that’s okay.

It’s important to know your limitations and when it’s appropriate to redirect your team members to a professional who can better assist them.

Knowing when and how to ask for help, as well as how to effectively respond when others ask for assistance, are crucial skills in the workplace.

Empathize With your Team

Empathy is a powerful tool in any leader’s toolkit. It’s the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, to put yourself in their shoes.

Empathy doesn’t necessarily mean having the same experiences as your team. What it does mean is being able to relate to their feelings and responses based on their own experiences.

For instance, you may not have faced the same challenges as a team member, but you’ve likely encountered situations where you felt similar emotions.

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Start Implementing a Vulnerable Leadership Style

Fostering an empathetic work environment is key to creating a positive, supportive, and connected team. As a leader, it’s important to remember that empathy is not a one-time action but a continuous practice.

Keeping track of your leadership goals is essential to monitor the progress of your business and how a vulnerable leadership technique improves your business environment.

Save some time and make your staff meeting more personal, vulnerable, and effective with our FREE One-on-One Reusable Meeting Form. Or contact Anequim today.