Why Vulnerability is a Key Business Leadership Skill Even Without a Corona Pandemic

Aaron Vick - Why Vulnerability is a KeyBusiness Leadership Skill

Aaron Vick - Why Vulnerability is a Key Business Leadership Skill

One of the biggest challenges as an entrepreneur is admitting you can’t do everything. Find out why good business leadership depends on showing vulnerability.

Running a team or a business requires far more than a stern hand. In fact, employees sometimes benefit the most from the opposite approach.

Vulnerability is one of the most undervalued of the business leadership skills. A good leader isn’t someone who is hard on their employees all the time. Leaders have to share and become one of the team to get the most out of their workers.

Ahead, we’ll take a look at why vulnerability is so crucial in today’s professional environment. In a climate where some leaders separate themselves from their workers, it’s essential that you engage with them and share the details of your life.

Vulnerable Does Not Mean Weak

We tend to define vulnerability as if it’s a synonym for weakness. In some contexts, it is, by when we’re talking about being vulnerable in the workplace, the definition changes a bit.

People feel vulnerable when both good and bad things happen to them. You can feel vulnerable when going on a first date or starting a business from scratch. These are both big moments and will make you uncomfortable and susceptible to criticism.

Just because you’re expressing vulnerability doesn’t mean your employees will see you as weak. We’re not talking about roaming the cubicles crying about how you got a stain on your shirt. At work, you can use your vulnerability to your advantage.

Increasing Productivity

Being vulnerable with your team translates to a healthy work environment. A healthy work environment leads to happy employees, and happy employees are more productive than unhappy ones.

You don’t have to be best friends with your employees, but having them like you is a massive benefit. You’ll still be their boss first and foremost, but if they think of you as a friend your business will get a lot further.

We spend the bulk of our waking hours at work, and we need to like the people we work with. Sharing intimate moments from our lives with our employees encourages them to do the same with each other.

More than anything, you’re fostering an environment of friendship through your business leadership. United employees stand beside one another during hard times and motivate each other to work harder if the business begins to struggle.

Humanizing Leadership

In today’s professional environment, it’s common for employees to feel disconnected from business leadership. Some leaders like it this way, but it’s not the most effective way to lead a group of people.

Employees benefit from seeing their boss as a member of the team. Isolating yourself from your workers only breeds an “us vs. them” mentality.

The employees will begin to see their boss as the “other.” You’ll seem like someone who doesn’t share the same goals and professional values as the rest of the group.

When this happens, employees will begin to think of each other rather than what’s best for the business. This mentality isn’t entirely negative – employee bonds are important – but it’s not an ideal way to get things done.

You want your employees to hold one another accountable. They need to know that you’re doing your best as a boss and that you expect the best effort from them as well.

Being vulnerable with your team will help achieve this result. Make sure they know that you care about how they’re doing. When it comes time for a productivity rant, they’ll know it comes from a place of passion.

A Culture of Honesty

It’s far too common for leaders to keep important information from their workers. It’s sometimes appropriate to withhold facts about how the business is doing, but make sure you aren’t treating your employees like children.

Do your best not to avoid the tough questions when they come. If your employees catch wind of impending layoffs, lying to them will only make things worse.

Once the layoffs come, your workers will know you were lying and will remember it down the line.

Instead, talk to your workers when they bring up hard questions. Let them know that layoffs are always the worst-case scenario and that you’re avoiding them at all costs.

That way, when layoffs arrive, your employees will know that you did everything you could to avoid them. They’ll trust that you’re telling them the truth in future cases, and will lessen the chance that they start searching for new jobs when they don’t need to.

Reduce Employee Turnover

Most people in business leadership know that it’s far more costly to hire a new employee than it is to keep an old one. If you need to fill a role on your team, you’ll spend money recruiting, negotiating, and training before they even know what they’re doing.

For that reason, it’s imperative to retain employees for as long as you can. One of the ways to better your employee retention rate is to show vulnerability at the top.

Vulnerability encourages vulnerability, and once an employee sees your understanding side, they’re more likely to come to you with a problem.

If the employee feels that business leadership at the company will listen to their concerns, there’s a higher chance they’ll talk out their problems instead of leaving without warning.

Even if your employee comes to you with a problem that’s irreconcilable, you can get a head start on replacing them.

You can’t address every problem a person has, and some people just aren’t the right fit for your company’s culture. One way to help figure this out is to create a sharing environment in the workplace.

Vulnerability as a Business Leadership Skill

As a boss, being vulnerable with your employees is one of the bravest strategies you can take. Vulnerability is inherently revealing, and you’ll open yourself up to personal and professional judgment.

Still, it’s one of the best ways to foster a culture of inclusion, honesty, and happiness within the workplace. Let your workers know how much you care about them and the business, and they’ll be more willing to work for you.

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