BRAVING: Are You Leading With Trust?

Braving. What is it? Are you braving in your daily interactions in your organizations and within your teams? Let’s take a deeper look into how Brené Brown defines braving, which she explains is pivotal in building trust. If you want to better attract and retain your talent, they have to trust you period.

“A brave leader is someone who says, “I see you. I hear you. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m going to keep listening and asking questions.” Brené Brown

These are the seven elements of trust (Braving is the acronym):

  1. Boundaries
  2. Reliability
  3. Accountability
  4. Vault
  5. Integrity
  6. Non-judgment
  7. Generosity

BOUNDARIES: Brené Brown defines it as “Setting boundaries is making clear what’s okay and what’s not okay, and why.”

  • Do you say no when you need to?

  • Is your team clear on what’s expected of you and them?


RELIABILITY: Brené Brown defines it as “You do what you say you’ll do. At work, this means staying aware of your competencies and limitations so you don’t overpromise and are able to deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities.”

  • Do you keep your word and commitments?

  • Do you deliver what you say you’ll deliver … not sometimes but consistently?


ACCOUNTABILITY: Brené Brown defines it as “You own your mistakes, apologize, and make amends.”

  • Do you own up to your mistakes?

  • Do you apologize for your errors or shortfalls?


VAULT: Brené Brown defines it as “You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share. I need to know that my confidences are kept, and that you’re not sharing with me any information about other people that should be confidential.”

  • Do you uphold confidentiality?

  • Do you avoid engaging in gossip and encourage others to do the same?


INTEGRITY: Brené Brown defines it as “Choosing courage over comfort; choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast, or easy; and practicing your values, not just professing them.”

  • Do you question the status quo?

  • Do you do what is right, not just comfortable?

  • Do you live and breathe your core values, executing these through your actions?


NONJUDGMENT: Brené Brown defines it as “I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We can talk about how we feel without judgment.”

  • Do you listen to understand, not your reply?

  • Do you ask questions to connect at a deeper level and show empathy?


GENEROSITY: Brené Brown defines it as “Extending the most generous interpretation to the intentions, words, and actions of others.”

  • Are you generous, giving people the benefit of the doubt?

  • Do you see the good in others, steering away from judgement and formulating your ism conclusions on the meaning behind their words and actions?


Leadership is hard. It was never easy, nor will it be. It is a continual journey of learning, growing, failing, and improving. Reflect on BRAVING and choose one or two areas that you can begin to strengthen over the next few months. What would those be? How could you adopt it into your day to day? What would that look like?

Sofia Arisheh

Sofia Arisheh

Sofia Arisheh is a certified HR strategist, leader, and educator with extensive experience in multiple sectors. She specializes in aligning HR strategy with business strategy, focusing on employee-centric approaches to drive better business results.

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