At our January Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) meeting we had a presentation on characteristics of dysfunctional teams. The very first one was lack of trust. The main reason that trust is not built or has eroded is the lack of shared vulnerability. As I reflected on this point, I realized that I have seen this so many times and on many different teams. It happens often because there are so many personality types. Sometimes, well-meaning, good-hearted people simply find it difficult to share because they are introverted. It may be more difficult for them to be trusted. If you show that you are willing to take a risk, open up and show some vulnerability, it is more likely others on your team will do the same and provide fertile ground for the growth of trust. I saw this happen at the gym. Shelly had a member tell her that she wouldn't be able to renew membership due to the possibility of losing her job. She was nearly in tears. Shelly shared with her that it would be ok to cry and that she wouldn't be the first person to "cry around here" because most of our members (including herself) are here for of more than just a workout. They feel support and accountability to help them keep going. At the end of that workout, she signed up for another year. I believe it was because Shelly shared parts of her own personal journey (vulnerability) that she chose to continue and make the right choice for herself. She didn't let the "urgent thing crowd out the important thing".
I believe that vulnerability is key in ALL human interactions, including negotiations. If one side shows vulnerability that is not reciprocated, it serves as a pretty good indicator you might have difficulty coming to common ground.
The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. - Ernest Hemingway
Vulnerability is not weakness. That myth is profoundly dangerous. Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. - Brene Brown
-Dr. Michael Hurt, CMO