Vulnerability in the Workplace

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Vulnerability and workplace are two words that do not usually mix. The former, a flowery word that concerns itself with feelings and emotions cannot fathom intertwining itself with the hard corporate world of deadlines, investments, and structure. Thus, people seem to hide their emotional selves while at work and bottle them up until they go home for the day.

However, I don’t subscribe to that school of thought. Being vulnerable in your workspace can be the best thing for you. Being open allows you to really, truly connect with coworkers or executives on a deeper level. Every single person has feelings, whether they choose to show them or not. The ability to feel is what makes us humans on the most basic level and what separates us from every other creature on this planet.

Acknowledging vulnerabilities can lead to a more productive and proactive work environment. Being emotionally intelligent allows coworkers to connect deeper, to form lasting relationships, and in turn, get more done. Taking a moment to see emotions, talk about them, and move on really shows strength and humanity.

On the flip side, hiding emotional vulnerabilities can wreak havoc at a place of work. People may hide their feelings because they don’t feel adequate or that their emotions do not matter, but bottling them all up will only lead to a bigger explosion down the line.

Opening your emotions at work will bring about more growth and learning. Vulnerabilities allow for a sense of humanity within a workplace. Genuine connections can blossom once you become more open with yourself and others in your space. Creating vulnerable and intentional conversations can foster true connections.

Being vulnerable applies to leaders as well. In my opinion, the best bosses are ones who connect emotionally and are willing to be vulnerable. Not that an executive needs to be crying all the time or asking too many personal questions, but maybe being open to those things (aside from the crying.) Stepping back as a leader allows other’s ideas to shine and employees to feel more connected, grounded, and engaged in their work.

Egos are nowhere to be found in a vulnerable workplace. Once you take down your personal guards around whatever you might be feeling, your ego will naturally see itself out. Putting your ego aside allows more room to listen and take from others. You have room to acknowledge other people’s ideas and to attach your’s to theirs. Egos can get in the way of a cooperative work environment.

Vulnerability is so important that the coworking industry as a whole has made it one of their core values. Ment has taken that and ran with it and we created our value nourishment based on their tenant of vulnerability. We believe as a space that we are here for your highs and lows. We strive to be expansive and inclusive and to nourish the souls of everyone who walks through our doors.

As a space, Ment wants to make ourselves as comfortable as possible to allow for open conversations. Our lounge has comfy couches, a skylight, and plants to create an environment you want to be in. Our library is color-coded (seriously, I am obsessed with it so come check it out) and organized to allow for better workflow. All the colors in our space are neutral as not to distract, but also to create a calm and reassuring environment.

The moral of the story is simple: being vulnerable allows all the good things about humanity to shine through. Bringing feelings into a work environment is tough, I get that, but it allows people to bring their whole selves to work and not leave a portion of themselves at home. Start by taking a moment to genuinely ask a coworker how they are. Not some quick small talk to start the day, but intentional curiosity about that person. Get to know them on a deeper level, know their families and their history. Begin to foster a vulnerable environment.

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