Why You Need to Show Vulnerability in the Workplace

If you truly want to succeed, you must be willing to risk failure. Fear of failure is a natural human emotion, especially when it comes to one’s professional life. That’s why we talk ourselves up before a big presentation or pretend to be confident in that meeting when the truth is we are nervous on the inside. Hiding our vulnerability is common practice in the corporate world. There’s a widely held assumption that showing weakness will hinder our opportunities for advancement. Somehow, making mistakes means we just aren’t cut out for the job. The truth, however, is that a working environment where people don’t feel free to take chances and make mistakes is crippling. 


Now, more than ever, it is time to embrace vulnerability in the workplace. As new generations join the workforce and trends begin moving toward a more open work culture, it’s time for businesses to create safe environments where employees and managers can be vulnerable. Vulnerability can lead to stronger relationships, enhanced productivity, and overall better results. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of embracing vulnerability in the workplace. 


It Makes You Relatable

There was a time when leaders were supposed to be inflexible and they shouldn’t be questioned. The problem with this mentality is that it is simply not true and everyone makes mistakes, including leaders. When leaders and managers aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and admit their mistakes, it makes them relatable and this is critical for employee engagement. This vulnerability allows employees to form a stronger and more trusting relationship with their managers. 


It Shows Character

Being a good leader means taking responsibility for yourself and others. A good leader accepts responsibility for their actions and admits when mistakes have been made. Owning up to these experiences demonstrates strength of character, which is an incredibly important quality for managers. 


It Inspires Creativity

A work environment that embraces vulnerabilities will inspire a culture of creativity and increased contribution. It gives employees a chance to relax and offer up new and innovative ideas because they aren’t fearful of rejection. It creates a work environment that is supportive rather than critical and this can lead to enhanced productivity and better ideas. 


It Boosts Engagement

A working environment in which people don’t feel free to be open and make mistakes can be extremely toxic. People will do anything to place the blame on others and trust and teamwork becomes totally obliterated. Over time, this can lead to burnout and increased turnover. The opposite of burnout is engagement and an engaged workforce will thrive. When vulnerabilities are embraced, it creates a more positive and supportive environment where ideas can be shared freely. Encouraging others to be vulnerable invites them to share, collaborate, communicate, and grow as a team.