Welcome to TL;DR (Tracy’s Latest Discussion Recap). We’re keeping you up to date on thought leadership from Tracy Lawrence, CEO & Co-Founder of Chewse. Today’s topic: how vulnerability in the workplace can benefit your company!
Vulnerability in the workplace isn’t something most leaders talk about. Probably because most of us immediately associate being “vulnerable” to being “weak,” though in fact it’s the other way around. Being vulnerable means being brave enough to be honest, which can be incredibly difficult. But if you’re able to open up as a leader, you can see huge benefits for your company.
Though our CEO and co-founder, Tracy Lawerence, now embraces vulnerability, she had to learn to do so. In a recent FastCompany article, Tracy explains the first time she was encouraged to embrace vulnerability in the workplace:
“My company was six months from running out of money… To say that I had a lot of feelings would be a vast understatement.
When I confided in my cofounder, his response was radical: be completely vulnerable. Share every feeling, every fear, every ounce of my being with the whole company… I thought he was nuts, but I did it anyway. It ended up being one of the most positive and productive conversations the team ever had.”
When you’re vulnerable as a leader, you’re showing your employees that you trust them. In doing so, you empower them.
Sometimes, it can feel like the opposite might be true. After all, “ignorance is bliss.” If we shield our employees from the truth, they can do their work without having to worry. But most people can pick up when something is wrong and, without knowing what is wrong, they jump to the worst-case scenario. In Tracy’s words:
“As humans, we’re… incredibly tapped into others’ emotions. When we sense an emotion in someone else but don’t know the reason, our brains furiously try to explain it. In doing that, we sometimes catastrophize to protect ourselves from danger.”