If you want to be a true leader, you must lead with transparency. Why? As soon as you lose the trust of those you lead, you are rendered ineffective. One of the quickest ways to lose trust is by not being consistently transparent with those around you, especially those you lead. The following are tips for leading with transparency.
The first tip to leading with transparency is to share information. Some leaders will hoard information, thinking that this gives them power. What it really does is cause distrust among your employees. The benefits of sharing information are vast. It leads to increased creativity and collaboration across the team. There will be times when you have sensitive information that you cannot share with others, but that is usually the exception and not the norm.
Explain the “Why” Behind your Decision Making
As a leader of a company, you will make decisions that impact your employees daily. You will be tasked with making important decisions and sometimes people won’t agree with the decision you made. This is where the “why” comes in. If you provide the “why” behind your decision making, people may still not agree, but they can at least understand your thought process. It does not make you a weak leader when you explain the reasons why you did or did not go in a certain direction. What it does make you is a transparent leader.
Tell People Where They Stand
This may be the most difficult part of being a transparent leader. Sometimes, you have to tell people where they stand in the company and they may not like it. If you have an employee who consistently falls short of expectations but they continue to go up for promotions, you need to let them know where they stand. Tell them why you don’t feel comfortable promoting them and what they can do to be better at their job. Letting people know exactly where they stand within the company is beneficial to both the company and the employee.
One of the most transparent things is when someone is not being transparent. People will base their trust of you on your level of transparency. As a leader, it is part of your job to maintain transparency. You can do this by sharing information freely, explaining the “why” behind your decision making and letting people know where they stand within the company.