One of the most overlooked attributes in building a good culture, mostly because leaders are not aware of it, is sharing vulnerability. They are not aware of it because it is counterintuitive. You are told that to be a good leader you must be strong. Yet, the strongest leaders are the ones who admit to and share their vulnerabilities.
What makes them stronger is several things. First of all, when you admit to your weaknesses, your vulnerabilities, you are showing self-awareness, and this causes others to see you as authentic and to trust you. Secondly, when you and your followers are aware of your vulnerabilities you can give those that support you responsibility for taking care of those things that are not in your strength zone. This gives them ownership which is important in creating a good culture.
The third point is that sharing vulnerability puts the first two together and sparks cooperation and trust. As a business coach in the Woodlands and a business coach in Houston one of the keys for me to be effective with my clients is that I must share my vulnerability. I must share where I am weak or uncomfortable or not a fit. Over the years, not when I was younger, I have become very good at being vulnerable. The result is that my self-improvement in the area of vulnerability has enabled me to support my clients more effectively.
Now when I share my vulnerability, most people pick up on it. And, the key is that when you share your vulnerability with someone that they know it. If they know it, then they are more likely to share their vulnerability. When they do, we have just created pathways that weren’t there before to work together. They have learned something about me where they can support me, and I have learned something about them where I can support them.
When this happens, a new bond of closeness and cooperation can be established. And it creates a new dynamic that can open up other avenues of cooperation and collaboration. In building a good culture, whether it be among two people or hundreds, the ability to share vulnerability and how we can support each other is critical to building a high performing team.
As an individual, in pursuing your own personal development or self-improvement, you are saying I am vulnerable in some areas and I will work to improve. If at first you are not vulnerable, you will not be able to improve.
In personal and business scenarios vulnerability does one other thing critical to the building of a good culture. It builds trust between individuals. After all, a team is nothing more than a collection of individuals. And, it is the trust between individuals on the team that very often can be critical to its success.
To build a better culture in your business and personal life, share your vulnerabilities. When you do, you will be gifting others with the opportunity to support and connect with you on a deeper level.