Being transparent means that no secrets or vital information should be kept from the team. Secrets can poison any work culture.
Here are 5 musts to being a transparent leader:
- Listen and provide feedback – being a good listener is a must but being a good leader and providing feedback in an absolute. Try to avoid overpromising when you give feedback …… by the way this is so easy to do!
- Communicate with effectiveness and efficiency – so often transparency breaks down when leaders don’t communicate well or at all. When new ideas or things that affect staff are not communicated well, it sometimes feels like a lack of respect for those affected and things feel “funny”. Take time to think through your communication. Seek input from other managers that you trust when in doubt! Never underestimate the value of “sharing”.
- Work By Committee – involving other staff in some decision-making processes is invaluable …… in other words, you can’t put a price on it! Staff cannot and should not be in on all decision-making processes but finding opportunities to work by committee and involving and also engaging staff means so much. Here’s a little tip for you ….. never underestimate the knowledge and experience that staff bring to the table ….. many times they have the best ideas!
- Be Engaged – part of being a transparent leader is engaging yourself in the day-to-day activities in your office. Make time to say hello to those in your office daily ( I used to say “take time” to do this but I like work “make” here ……. I think it means that you are being much more intentional about the effort). Please understand that just by being engaged doesn’t equal being transparent but it does build credibility with your staff. Credibility leads to a trusting relationship that is important to being a transparent leader!
- Be Honest – staff expect and appreciate honesty. The old saying “Honesty is the best policy” is so true. It’s SO easy to not be 100% honest at times ….. it is! Part of being honest is admitting mistakes. As a leader, mistakes will be made …… how you deal with them is the variable! Honesty builds credibility, respect, trust and much more!