How much vulnerability is too much? A recent article in Psychology Today discusses how our interpersonal dynamics in the workplace have changed over the years. The pendulum swings back and forth on the issue of vulnerability.
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When Workers Have Too Little Vulnerability
Being strong is a good thing, but we all have a mixture of strengths and weaknesses. When workers have too little vulnerability, they find it hard to admit to making mistakes. It takes a different kind of strength to admit our own mistakes: the strength of both self-confidence and humility.
Refusing to admit our mistakes often means deflecting blame onto others. It is toxic to work with somebody who blames others for problems and never sees how he can help improve a situation.
When Workers Have Too Much Vulnerability
The honesty and humility to admit our mistakes are strengths, but as Psychology Today explains, the recent trend is to take this too far. People who wear vulnerability on their sleeves are seen as weak links and may find themselves on the periphery of the team.
Workers who make self-deprecating remarks in the hopes that others will contradict them and tell them they are great may be suffering from self-confidence or self-esteem issues. Don’t be that guy.
The Middle Ground
It is a strength to recognize and admit if you make a mistake or see room for improvement, but once you’ve admitted to your error, let it go. Just because other people know you made a mistake does not mean you are no longer worthy of being on the team. Be vulnerable enough to be honest, and strong enough to learn from your mistakes and try again. If you need help, ask for it, but never give up and just let others do the work for you.
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