Is there a link between vulnerability, engagement and productivity? Oh yes ! Great article by Beth Miller for Entrepreneur.
Has your team been underperforming and not meeting your expectations? One of the root causes of poor team performance is low engagement by employees.
Now, there are a multitude of reasons that cause employee disengagement, but poor leadership is a big one. And one of the factors behind poor leadership, which leaders themselves often overlook, is their inbility to let themselves be vulnerable. How is vulnerability a leadership attribute that impacts engagement?
The answer is that being vulnerable allows a leader to emotionally connect with employees. And when employees have a strong emotional connection to a manager or CEO, they will walk through fire for them.
A great example of the power of vulnerability comes from entrepreneur Archana Patchirijan, founder of Hubbl, who announced to her team that she had to let all of them go because the company had run out of cash. Her employees refused to hear it. In fact, they said they were willing to have their pay cut in half in order to keep the company afloat.
Why would all of these highly skilled engineers do this? They did it because they’d witnessed Patchirajan sharing her doubts along the way and treating each employee like a family member.
What does vulnerability from you, as leader, look like to employees? It means they see you as being honest when you admit you have doubts and don’t have all of the answers. It means admitting and owning the mistakes you have made, large and small.
Leaders also demonstrate vulnerability when they have the courage to be human and show their emotions in a purposeful way, sharing their personal stories, which connect emotionally to other people.
Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness or being submissive, and it’s not about sharing your deepest, most personal secrets. When purposeful, vulnerability is a strength that can provide the leaders expressing it with a number of benefits.