How many times do you leave a one-on-one meeting or conversation with your boss or coworker feeling unsure about just what their motivations were, or what kind of impact you made? “What did they really think about what I had to say?” you might ask yourself. “I wish they weren’t so hard to read.” How often do you go over the meeting in your mind, creating a “what if?” scenario, or coming up with stories of what just happened, before deciding to just move on and hope for the best?
Situations like this are common at organizations and they are also avoidable, when leaders practice and encourage transparency by being clear, honest and forthright.
Transparency in business means sharing information with others, including sharing the impact of others’ words and actions. It can be difficult to get used to this practice, but I believe that a culture of transparency creates the strongest teams and organizations, helping people feel connected to the organization and their own work and clear and aligned around the purpose of what they do each day and the next steps they should take.
Transparency can become part of an organization’s culture and it starts with people. The more leaders in an organization can fully share what is on their minds in the moment, the more people feel connected at work. Leaders should share failures as well as successes, share impact as well as ideas and seek out or create opportunities for those who struggle to communicate their inner dialogue to practice their own transparency.
When an organization’s people are transparent, the rest of the organization is ready to follow.