Vulnerability Based Leadership Builds Trust: Host Your Own Team Vulnerability Session.

Vulnerability at work can lead to trust and growth among teams and leadership. By embracing and expressing your vulnerability as a leader, you give permission for your team to open up and share their humanity. Start with our easy-to-use Vulnerability Session Worksheets.


Building trust as a leader starts with being vulnerable at work.

There’s no doubt that vulnerability is difficult; when we risk getting vulnerable, we open ourselves to the possibility of judgment and discomfort. The hope is that leaders will use their awareness of vulnerability’s inherently precarious nature to put guardrails in place at the onset of beginning a vulnerability practice at work. Doing so will not only support the facilitation of vulnerable moments, but it will also mitigate the very real risk of emotional damage.

Being vulnerable at work has numerous benefits:

  • Speed. A team that knows what’s happening with one another and has learned how to support each other through their vulnerabilities will inherently move faster than a team that attempts to separate their personal and work lives.
  • Heightened engagement. Practicing vulnerability at work requires cultures to learn behaviors that increase the overall psychological safety of their workplaces. As psychological safety increases, employees can lessen the amount of energy they expend for self-protection, thus reducing many of the subconscious distractions that interfere with being present, focusing, and producing results for the team.
  • Greater retention. The feeling of psychological safety is not easy to find in most business settings, and employees who benefit from a vulnerable culture know they have found something rare. In addition to an emotionally safe environment, a more vulnerable culture supports the exploration of workers’ sense of identity; the stories employees are telling themselves about themselves. As they watch their skills and capacities developing, workers see the company as a catalyst to their expedited growth, creating a symbiotic relationship that binds the organization and the individual more deeply together.
  • Increased innovation. When team members are supporting each other through the toughest of life’s challenges, business challenges become downright simple in comparison. As stress falls away, the doorway to creativity and, dare I say, fun opens wider. When we practice vulnerability regularly, comfort with risk-taking increases dramatically and flows into other areas of the business.
  • Openness to giving and receiving feedback. Vulnerability practice requires participants to learn how to offer personal feedback that is deeply authentic and non-threatening to recipients. The practice also teaches participants how to more fully take in the words of others. As team members let go of solving each others’ problems and instead focus on hearing and being impacted by one another's’ stories, their willingness to give and receive feedback in a business context becomes easier and then valued.

For any established culture, being vulnerable at work is a shift that will require time, resources, and outside expertise to be handled effectively. However, the benefits of being vulnerable with those we work alongside are bountiful.

Click Below to Get Everything You Need to Host Your Vulnerability Sessions:

  • Facilitator Script
  • Handouts for Listeners
  • 3 Agreements to Set the Stage
  • Rules of Engagement