By Lee-Ann Watanabe, Wellness Educator

What is vulnerability in the workplace?

In her book, Daring Greatly: How The Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, author and vulnerability researcher Dr. Brené Brown defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.”

Traditionally, vulnerability has been seen as a weakness; especially in the workplace. Employees fear rejection, of being ostracized, or exposed for their flaws should they admit – out loud – that they don’t know the answer; can’t solve a problem; close that deal; finish a project…

In recent times, when even the highest level executives don’t have all the answers, in our imperfect world of trial and error, vulnerability is becoming the new normal, being seen now more than ever as an asset and not a liability.

Why the shift?

Well, being vulnerable is being human, after all. It allows us to connect to one another and is at the core of our human existence; our need to connect. No, not like your internet connection (HAHAHA); pure human interaction and connection. It’s how our brain is wired, literally.

We highly recommend investing twenty minutes of your time to watch Dr. Brown’s Ted Talk discussing the power of vulnerability. And better yet, why not invite your work force to watch too?

What does being vulnerable at work mean?

Being vulnerable at work can be expressed in several ways. It could be apologizing to a co-worker after a short-tempered engagement after a long day. Vulnerability can be asking for help when you feel overwhelmed with a project and need a break. Vulnerable at the office might be admitting to your team that you don’t have all of the answers to their pressing concerns.

Being vulnerable is the ability to show people you’re not perfect, you make mistakes, and you don’t have all the answers. In other words, it’s showing people that you’re human.

How can we improve?

Demonstrating and embracing vulnerability in the workplace – the good, the bad, the ugly – is a must for building a thriving corporate culture. But how, exactly, do you do that?

Contact WYAO Hawaii to schedule a free consultation today. Our premier educational workshop “How to Lose Your Workplace Armor” will teach your organization the key steps necessary to make a vulnerability shift and thus, open the door to creativity, innovation, and more authentic connections amongst your work force!

WYAO Hawaii is designed to support companies in the shift from an ‘activity-based’ wellness program to a thriving, integrated results-oriented wellness system. We are grounded in a nationally recognized and research-based model to assist companies through a seven-step sequence toward Workplace Wellness Success.

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