Build Trust with a Vulnerability Exercise for Teams
Being vulnerable with your team members may seem threatening at first, but it's actually an essential ingredient for building trust and connection. When we open up and share our thoughts, feelings, and experiences with others, it creates an environment of honesty and authenticity. By being vulnerable, we show that we trust and respect our colleagues enough to let our guard down and share something personal. This, in turn, encourages others to reciprocate and share their own vulnerabilities, building a deeper level of trust and connection within the team.
This simple team exercise encourages people to open up, thus building trust and connection. By creating a sense of shared vulnerability, the exercise fosters a stronger sense of camaraderie and trust among team members, which can ultimately lead to better collaboration, improved communication, and increased productivity. Taking the time to facilitate this vulnerability exercise can pay dividends in terms of building a more cohesive and effective team.
In a recent team meeting, Shannon Pilcher, an accomplished Consultant, Coach and Speaker, took our team through this exercise, and I was amazed by the candidness and openness, which increased my trust with everyone present. Shannon’s process was simple, yet powerful.
- Share the following prompts on a slide and give everyone one minute to think about their responses:
- “One word, phrase, or metaphor to describe your year so far.”
- “One realistic yet unfulfilled personal hope or aspiration you have for 2023.”
- Go first, so you can demonstrate vulnerability and also model the amount of detail you want.
- Invite each person to share.
Being vulnerable with your team members creates an environment of honesty and authenticity, which encourages others to reciprocate and share their own vulnerabilities. By participating in a vulnerability exercise, team members can learn to let their guard down and share something personal in a structured and safe environment, ultimately building a more cohesive and effective team.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams, Team Consultant Academy, and FORWARD, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.
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