Posted 5 years ago
In any relationship, business or personal, transparency is a key component in trust and confidence between the people involved. Now more than ever, leadership transparency is not only the respectful way to conduct yourself at the office, it is also the most efficient way as well. In this week’s story, Deb Calvert discusses just how important leadership transparency is both in terms of morale and your company’s bottom line.
by Deb Calvert
Leadership transparency has also been called business’ “the currency of trust.”
As you know, trust is the foundation of any relationship. As transparency increases, trust increases. And the converse is also true.
Transparency starts with opening up the lines of communication and sharing. You offer and receive information and, as you do, mutual trust increases. As you are more transparent, trust grows and the strength of the relationship grows, too.
When a relationship goes bad, a decline in transparency is often the first indicator, the early warning signal. We start withholding information when our trust is low and we are pulling back from others.
Think of this in the context of your personal relationships. When you trust someone AND when you are striving to build or maintain someone’s trust in you, you share openly. When you hold back and become less transparent it has the effect of diminishing trust.
Here is an example, something we can all relate to if we have been around teens. I ask my son “Where are you going?” and he says “out.” I ask “what are you doing?” and he says “nothing.” He is hardly being transparent, and my natural reaction is to trust him less, to even be suspicious.
The same is true in workplace relationships, too.
In a rapidly changing world, leadership transparency matters. During times of turmoil, people are stressed. They want to know what is happening and how they are going to be personally impacted by these forces that are out of their control. So they want and need honest, candid, clear and detailed information from the people they look up to.
That is situational leadership transparency or being transparent about the business and company. That matters.
But it goes beyond the situational in leadership transparency. You need to be transparent, not just in sharing company information but in sharing a part of yourself.
Research on workplace engagement tells us the following about leadership transparency.
Those are some compelling benefits, all resulting simply from being transparent. It starts by letting others know you and what you are all about.
The second bullet-pointed benefit was reported in a December 11, 2013 article in Forbes Magazine. It reported on a study by TINYPulse that probed the root causes of employee happiness. Noting the unexpectedly strong connection between transparency and happiness, the survey summary noted, “This finding surprised us too, with management transparency coming in at an extremely high correlation coefficient of .937 with employee happiness. The cost of improving transparency is almost zero, but requires an ongoing dialogue between management and staff. We see an increasing number of companies using transparency to attract and retain top talent.”
The correlation between happiness and transparency has to do with clarity of expectations. It includes keeping employees posted on how you view their performance. Giving employees transparent context creates clarity. When they know what matters to you, what makes you tick, and what you expect, they are both better equipped to deliver and happier to do so.
Simply put, we trust people who are more transparent. And we will work harder for those we trust.
Here is a three-step formula for you to use in becoming more transparent.
When you find yourself wanting to hold back, consider what it is you are afraid of. That little feeling of vulnerability is the strongest indicator that you have yet another opportunity to be transparent and to build trust.
Deb Calvert, President of People First Productivity Solutions, has worked as a Corporate Director in a Fortune 500 company and as a consultant, coach and trainer to over 400 businesses of all sizes and in all sectors. Deb is a certified executive coach, one of the “65 Most Influential Women in Business,” an instructor at UC-Berkeley, and a Top 50 Sales Influencer. She is Certified Master with The Leadership Challenge®, conducting workshops and coaching to help liberate the leader in everyone. Her first book DISCOVER Questions® Get You Connected has been named one of “The Top 20 Most Highly-Rated Sales Books of All Time” by HubSpot. Her second book, Stop Selling and Start Leading, is now available. You can learn more about Deb and PFPS at www.peoplefirstps.com
When you’re ready to equip your supervisors and sellers with strong people skills, contact People First Productivity Solutions. We build organizational strength by putting PEOPLE first.