We think about trust and vulnerability the way we think about standing on solid ground and leaping into the unknown. First we build trust, then we leap. But science is showing we’ve got it backward. Vulnerability doesn’t come after trust — it precedes it. Leaping into the unknown, when done alongside others, causes the solid ground of trust to materialize beneath our feet.
If you’d like trust to develop in your office, group or team the key is sharing your weaknesses. Cooperation does not simply descend out of the blue. It is a group muscle that is built according to a specific pattern of repeated interaction, and that pattern is always the same: a circle of people engaged in the risky, occasionally painful, ultimately rewarding process of being vulnerable together.