The Importance of Vulnerability and Emotional Leadership in the Workplace
The workplace is rife with change and transition right now. Some companies are switching to a hybrid work model, others are going fully remote, and several are locked into battle with employees who say — at alarming rates — that they will quit their jobs if their leadership team doesn’t meet their expectations in terms of flexibility and remote work.
As we hear story after story about CEOs and executive leaders at odds with their employees in regards to workplace flexibility, there are certain themes that re-emerge.
Employees feel that their CEO or supervisors don’t trust them or care about their happiness, whereas CEOs say they think their employees are more productive and connected when in the office.
All the while, culture is floundering. In times where the workplace looks so vastly different than it has in the past, leadership teams are unsure of how to maintain the company culture they’ve worked to cultivate over the years. There’s one key that most leaders are missing as they try to go about this: vulnerability.
Many leaders lack vulnerability, partially because emotional leadership has fallen to the wayside and partially because they view it as a disadvantage. It’s important to understand that vulnerability is not a weakness, but rather an openness to admitting you have something to learn, even from junior employees. In a situation like this, the answer isn’t pushing your own desires and hoping for the best outcome, it’s being willing to listen to your employees — accepting that you have some listening and learning to do — making them feel heard, and come to a solution from a place of understanding.
Why is it your employees are looking for more flexibility? If you’re unsure or find yourself assuming, take the time to get your employees’ feedback — get vulnerable and embrace emotional leadership — and find out what the crux of the issue is. With an open and honest conversation, you might discover your team members are happy with a hybrid model or some other compromise that suites both of your needs. The only way to find out is to embrace vulnerability as a leader and to be open to the insights your team has to share.
Vulnerability and emotional leadership are not just helpful regarding this massive shift in the workforce, it can ultimately help you build a better culture throughout your team or company no matter what the challenge is you’re facing.
Interested in learning how to get vulnerable to build up your team? Get in touch for a complimentary coaching session!