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Six Practical Ways for Teams to Embrace Vulnerability (TRN4-J18)


This job aid describes six practical approaches that can help teams to embrace vulnerability as a strength in leadership.

Published: June 15, 2022
Type: Job aid

Download as PDF (299 KB)

Six Practical Ways for Teams to Embrace Vulnerability

Vulnerability as a Strength in Leadership

For best-selling authors Brené Brown and Simon Sinek, vulnerability is a strength in leadership. Showing vulnerability demands courage, and while this may feel counterintuitive to a traditional understanding of leadership, it can build human connection, authenticity and trust.

The Canada School of Public Service invites teams to explore the powerful idea of vulnerability in leadership. This quick reference tool will help you and your colleagues to discover practical approaches to embrace vulnerability and develop as leaders.

When we imprison our hearts to protect our egos, we kill courage.
Yes, a liberated heart is more vulnerable, but it's also more daring.

  1. Growth Mindset

    You can develop your talents with effort and hard work; what you can't do today may still be possible one day.

    Present yourself as a learner and embrace continuous learning, curiosity, openness, intellectual challenge.

  2. User Guide to Me

    This tool, often in the form of a table, helps you reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, blind spots, and areas for growth.

    Share it with others to help them understand your needs, your struggles, and how you prefer to work.

  3. Storytelling

    Storytelling can be a powerful way to communicate ideas, emotions and hard-won lessons.

    Share a personal story and how it shaped you and your approach to work or life.

  4. Team Charter

    A team charter outlines shared goals and how the team will work together.

    Include vulnerability as part of the team culture and outline ways to offer mutual support.

  5. Fail Forward

    The occasional failure is inevitable, but failing forward is about learning from mistakes and taking the next step.

    Purposefully try something new, and share the positive and negative lessons with your team.

  6. Recognition

    We often witness acts of vulnerability in the workplace, such as asking for help to meet a deadline.

    Praise vulnerability when you see it and help those around you, and yourself, to better express it.

    See also: Vulnerability as a Strength in Leadership: Six Practical Ways for Managers to Embrace Vulnerability


Want to learn more? Consult the School's learning catalogue.

Growth Mindset
Discover the many online self-paced and virtual classroom courses that talk about growth mindset.
Keywords: growth mindset; learning culture
User Guide to Me
A number of our courses and job aids explain the use of this team tool.
Keywords: Thrive Series; team charter; manual of me (online)
Look for learning events about storytelling as well as courses on communicating more effectively, orally and in presentations.
Keywords: storytelling; design; communication
Team Charter
Check out our job aids, videos and courses that feature team charters.
Keywords: team charter; virtual team; Thrive Series
Fail Forward
Explore the meaning of failing forward in our courses and job aids.
Keywords: Thrive Series; fail forward; innovation; growth mindset
We have job aids to support the creation of psychologically safe workplaces.
Keywords: psychosocial factors; recognition and reward; peer support; team culture

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