Navigating Vulnerability at Work


November 14, 2022



About This Episode

Vulnerability and interaction are inseparable (03:00). The workplace is vulnerable because it’s full of humans.

Why does vulnerability matter? (08:30) There’s a spectrum of vulnerability and a spectrum of responses to vulnerability. You can reward it, punish it, or do something in between.

How do we create healthy company cultures? (11:30) If we want healthy cultures where inclusion and innovation are the standards, we must reward vulnerability.

What are red zones and blue zones? (13:15) Red zones are environments of punished vulnerability, and blue zones are environments of rewarded vulnerability.

Vulnerability occurs across the 4 stages of psychological safety (24:30). Tim and Junior share common acts of vulnerability found in inclusion, learner, contributor, and challenger safety. 

Vulnerability and inclusion safety (26:00). Inclusion safety satisfies the basic human need to be included, accepted, and belong. It means it’s not expensive to be yourself. 

Vulnerability and learner safety (43:00). Acts of vulnerability in Stage 2: Learner Safety relate to learning and the discovery process. Because learning is fraught with uncertainty and risk, every person brings some level of inhibition and anxiety to the learning process. 

Vulnerability and contributor safety (48:50). Acts of vulnerability in Stage 3: Contributor Safety relate to making a meaningful contribution and reflect a willingness to be held accountable for your performance.

Vulnerability and challenger safety (53:20). Acts of vulnerability in Stage 4: Challenger Safety relate to challenging the status quo and creating value in new and different ways through innovation.


The Ladder of Vulnerability webinar:

The Ladder of Vulnerability ebook:

The Complete Guide to Psychological Safety:

How to Connect with a Person Not Like You:

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