The Secret to Building Trust in a Team: Leadership Vulnerability

The Secret to Building Trust in a Team: Leadership Vulnerability

What’s the secret to building a trusting team dynamic? From the many actions leaders take to build trust, there is one that research finds to be a game-changer: vulnerability. Leaders who are willing to share their small weaknesses are better able to connect with their teams and build stronger relationships. Want to learn the benefits of being more transparent about your struggles–and how to use this communication practice effectively? Read on.

Why leaders should consider being more vulnerable
Many leadership experts will tell you that leadership vulnerability builds trust. Brené Brown put vulnerability on the map with her writings about shame and courage. For years, author Patrick Lencioni has been telling stories about leadership failures due to a leader’s unwillingness to demonstrate any chinks in the armor.

Harvard professor Jeff Polzer has studied a very specific type of communication structure called the “vulnerability loop” – which has to do with the way people on a team share information about themselves. His research shows that paradoxically, when people are more vulnerable with one another, they increase trust and a willingness to cooperate.