Merge's Blog

Creating a compassionate workplace culture starts with showing vulnerability as a leader

Today’s post is Strategy #13 in our continuing video tip series on what it takes to create a compassionate workplace culture.  And it is: be willing to show vulnerability.

Be willing to show vulnerability

Hey listen, I get it!  Allowing yourself to show vulnerability can be difficult for anyone, but sometimes it’s even harder for leaders because we’re in positions of responsibility, and we think we need to come across to others as if we are always tough and composed.  But demonstrating vulnerability can be a very important way to build trust, connection, and resilience in the workplace. It shows your people that you’re human, and therefore you are seen as more authentic and relatable.  It is a giant step towards creating a compassionate workplace culture.

What specifically can you do?

So what does showing your vulnerability actually mean?  Well, here are a few ways that leaders can demonstrate their vulnerability:

  • By admitting when you make mistakes. When you acknowledge your mistakes and take responsibility for your actions, you create a culture of accountability and trust, and you build a workplace culture where your employees feel comfortable admitting their own mistakes and learning from them.
  • By sharing personal experiences. When you share events and challenges that you have faced in your life or career, your staff can see you as human and relatable, and will be encouraged to share their own experiences and challenges.  This type of openness is essential in a compassionate workplace culture.
  • By asking for help. When you ask for help or guidance when you need it, you create a culture of collaboration and support, where your people also feel comfortable asking for help and stepping up to support each other.
  • By being open to feedback. When you are willing to listen to the insights and advice that your people can give you, and you actually use it to adapt and improve your own performance and leadership style, you can create a culture of continuous improvement and learning, where your people feel valued and heard.
  • By showing your emotions. Don’t be afraid to show your feelings of empathy, compassion, or sadness. Remember Strategy #12 – you are a role model.  Your willingness to show your emotions will create a culture of empathy and connection, where employees feel supported and cared for.

Creating a compassionate workplace culture starts with demonstrating vulnerability as a leader

Bottom line, vulnerability is not about being weak or helpless, as many people think.  It’s actually about being honest, authentic, and open to growth and connection. By demonstrating vulnerability, you can create a more positive, productive, and compassionate workplace culture, and build stronger relationships with your people.

I’d love to know your reaction to today’s tip.  How do you feel about showing vulnerability as a leader?  Would you (or are you) doing it?  Please share your thoughts by adding a comment below.

Strategy #12 in this video tip series was referenced above, but if you’d like to access all the previous tips, you can do so here: Creating a compassionate workplace video series

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