Is there room for vulnerability at the workplace?

I have a confession to make. I am a self-help book junkie. Roll your eyes all you want, that’s me. I am almost obsessed with improving myself and however, “lame” that may sound, I am really proud of this.

I am currently reading about Brene Brown and her work around vulnerability and shame and it got me thinking — I get how being vulnerable can be great in your relationships and essentially behind closed doors at home, but vulnerability at work could probably kill your career, right?

It’s amazing how uncomfortable this one word can make us. Vulnerable. And yet, the paradox of it all is that vulnerability is the fount of empowerment and growth. Here’s why I say yes to being vulnerable at work:

  1. Being vulnerable allows you to learn: I see people around me at work who seem so strong. They are decent at what they do, but I’ve also seen them do the same things, the same way for the last 3 years. They have strong reactions to getting feedback and over a period of time, no one gives them any. End result, you are where you were three years ago. Reason, you don’t want to say to yourself, maybe I have no idea what I am doing.
  2. Vulnerability helps you gain trust: We all have an idea of strength and leadership in our heads. A leader mustn’t look worried. A leader must be in charge at all times. A leader is actually a superhero in disguise. And yet, in all my years I have been inspired by leaders and mentors who were great at what they do, against all odds. I have followed leaders who I could trust not robots who were efficient.
  3. Build real relationships: The foundation of all real relationships is vulnerability. Team-building, networking — these are all forced activities that one must be part of to tick the right boxes. But being vulnerable allows us to create something at a deeper level. Working as a team requires trust, building worthwhile relationships with your mentors and juniors takes away the stress of “networking” and allows you to actually connect with people.
  4. Creativity and innovation: Imperfection and vulnerability implies that you will make mistakes. You will fail and accepting failure makes room for creativity and innovation. Vulnerability isn’t a show of weakness or self doubt. It is a strength. It means opening your heart and mind to new ideas and beliefs.

So can vulnerability at work be empowering? Can it open your mind and heart to new possibilities and ideas? Can it allow you to truly connect with your team and build a safer environment? Tell me what you think.

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Content Marketer. Changing how people read & write with @JuggernautBooks. Ex-@Makemytrip, @Zoho, HarperCollins Publishers

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Natasha Puri

Natasha Puri

Content Marketer. Changing how people read & write with @JuggernautBooks. Ex-@Makemytrip, @Zoho, HarperCollins Publishers

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