Every time I ask a manager this question: “Do you want your people to let you know when they are having a problem, are stressed or are uncomfortable with something?” The answer is almost always an emphatic…“YES.” But when I ask these same managers this question: “Are you willing to let your employees know when you are having a problem, are stressed or are uncomfortable with something?” The answer is typically very different.
There are a lot of reasons or excuses, as to why, but in the end it has to do with one thing…managers cannot be vulnerable. Many managers feel they need to be strong, but the truth is it does not take strength to cover something up. It takes strength to be candid and show vulnerability. It takes strength to lead and be a role model. We can’t expect our people to be vulnerable with us if we are unable to be vulnerable with them. Besides employees know when we are stressed. They know when we are uncomfortable, but they just do not know why. Imagine what reasons they dream up.