Transparent: Easily seen through, recognized or detected.
Business transparency is openness, communication and accountability. It is the full, accurate and complete disclosure of information in a timely manner. And it is vital in order to understand how to increase team effectiveness.
If you are not being transparent, it will seem as if you are:
- Not forthcoming, candid, open.
- Not trusting others.
- Hoarding information for self-serving purposes.
- Not seeking feedback from others (or deflecting it).
- Playing politics to limit information sharing.
In short, it will seem that you are operating in a clandestine manner that is not advantageous to the rest of the team. True or not, this perception will derail, not increase team effectiveness.
A December 11, 2013 article in Forbes Magazine 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 benefits of transparency, then, equate to employee happiness, and will help increase team effectiveness, in these three ways:
- Your transparency fosters transparency from others.
- Management transparency is the top factor in determining employee happiness.
- “If I can believe and trust my management, I’ll work hard for them.” Transparency = trust = I’ll work hard.
This is why transparency is essential. Increasing team effectiveness, employee happiness and business results stem from a leader's transparency. Here are five ways you can open up and be more transparent:
#1 Spell out your intentions
- Explain what you want to accomplish and why.
- Share your goals openly.
- Set, clarify and give feedback on your expectations.
- When giving feedback, describe why it matters.
- Check your intentions internally. Are you acting in accord with your values? If so, explain that.
#2 Share your decision-making process
- Be consistent in your process.
- Don’t deviate without explaining why.
- Be able to explain yourself.
- Set your criteria and priorities first and be sure they align with values.
- Get input along the way.
#3 Reveal information about yourself
- What makes you who you are?
- What matters most to you now?
- What do you want to be doing in the future?
- What will your legacy be?
- Don’t worry… You’re a long way from over-sharing.
#4 Avoid pretense and posing
- If you don’t know, say so.
- Be candid, honest and genuine in what you say.
- Hold yourself to the same standards you hold others. (Including being okay with imperfection.)
#5 Be sure your actions match your words
- Get feedback to be sure you follow through and are credible in what you do vs. what you say.
- Don’t say it if you don’t mean it.
- Explain discrepancies before they occur.
Transparent: not opaque, not translucent, but see through. No surprises, nothing concealed, just you -- the real you shining through.
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