Donna's Blog

Demonstrating vulnerability accelerates trust.

Demonstrating vulnerability accelerates trust.

In this recent Fast Company article I was surprised to read about how psychiatrists, therapist and doctors use specific techniques to accelerate trust between themselves and new patients.

 

When you think about it though, that makes sense, given they have to get strangers to disclose personal information as quickly and as detailed as possible, in a short period of time. 

 

One of the techniques used is to spill the coffee. In that moment, it humanises the specialist, and gives the patient a feeling of “they are human and make human mistakes” and it lowers guards and opens the way for trust.

 

As managers we can also use vulnerability to increase trust with our people. 

 

A manager was recently telling me that their organisation was about to undergo some major restructuring and he was struggling with keeping the team motivated in this time of uncertainty. He then went on to tell me that he himself was struggling some days with motivation. I asked if he had shared that with his team, and he said no. My suggestion to him was that his disclosure could open up a great dialogue in the team, on how they can keep themselves focused on the now, and deliver on what’s needed, despite the distraction of the uncertain future. They could support each other.

 

I think vulnerability is underused and vital to effective team management.

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