What Does Vulnerability Look Like in the Office?
These are unusual times; we adapted to work remotely, managed change in the workplace and at home, and at the same time cared for our health. All not only affected our economy but our day-to-day life. Our roles needed to be flexible, and we demonstrated resilience. Developing an appreciation for the importance of being mentally healthy helps companies encourage emotions in the workplace; it seems a wild concept, right? What does vulnerability look like in your office?
I know that this is a sensitive topic, and you may feel uncomfortable talking about it, especially in the workplace. However, to be human is to be vulnerable! It is that awkward feeling when you are uncomfortable, emotionally exposed, and taking a risk. Believe it or not, it allows us to experience fantastic new avenues of thought.
For example, think of the times when you hesitate to:
- Say something that your team would not well accept.
- Try something that you thought would work but did not convey to the team.
- Admit accountability.
- Seek to listen to others rather than speaking first.
Would you feel comfortable:
- Talking through your ideas aloud or taking more time to think about them.
- Giving feedback on tough decisions during meetings.
- Connecting with other people to have honest conversations.
Vulnerability allows us to feel, understand, and sit in uncomfortable situations with other people. Difficult meetings may keep us awake at night, and we may find ourselves rehearsing for what we want to say. Avoid worrying and stay open, curious, and generous by listening instead of being heard. That armor you put on does not allow you to stay honest and be receptive to others.
It does not come easy for many when giving feedback to organizations, especially where the culture of communication is an aspiration instead of behavior is not often a space for honest conversation.
Brenee Brown, author of "Dare to Lead," defines 5 particular behaviors and cultural issues that leaders identified as obstacles to their organizations' success:
1. Employees avoid honest and productive feedback on tough conversations.
2. There is not enough accountability. When conflict arises, consult the responsibilities assigned.
3. Diversity and inclusion are sensitive topics. People do not feel comfortable sharing their opinions and fear looking wrong. Thus, there is no meaningful and lasting change.
4. Culture should be taught, measured, and evaluated. This environment will ensure that everyone can speak in meetings, so all voices are heard.
5. Perfectionism and fear of failure keep people from learning and growing. Not enough employees take risks and share innovative ideas.
You can be brave and vulnerable; accept the feelings of uncertainty, fear, and risk of learning and growing. Understanding your and others' work styles as whole people (mind and heart) allows us to build stronger teams where values and beliefs contribute to the organization's well-being and economic success.
Our team can help you build a culture of trust with open and candid communication. We work with the Predictive Index, a platform that allows us to understand the people side of organizations, their characteristics/traits to communicate better, make decisions and take action. This insight helps us and our clients achieve better business results.