But vulnerability also has an invaluable superpower: It builds trust between people. Revealing our fallibility, just as Jobs did in that meeting, demonstrates that we accept ourselves as imperfect and tacitly shows that we won’t judge others for being imperfect, either. Edmonson says that acknowledging your fallibility fosters psychological safety in interpersonal and workplace settings. And when people feel safe enough to risk sharing their ideas, groups thrive.

Innovation demands that people work together in uncertainty, encountering new problems with unpredictable outcomes. And with the state of uncertainty currently befalling many industries—of automation, of trade barriers, of market stability—building a culture where we keep each other psychologically safe as we take risks together is more important than ever.

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