How transparency serves

I remember the first time I showed division financials to my team members. They were wide-eyed and curious. I explained how what they do daily – how they spend their time, and what they work on – impacts the numbers.

And that’s the first year we hit our numbers completely out of the park.

I remember the first time I shared my most embarrassing fail on the job with my direct reports. I explained how it impacted me to this day, what I took away from it, and what I do a little differently.

And that’s the first time I saw someone shift their relationship with failure.

I remember the first time I got out of a meeting with the President of the company who provided me with some candid feedback, and I turned right around and called a sidebar with another VP to open up to them about what the President told me I should be working on.

And that’s the first time I fostered a collaboration with someone doing work totally different from mine.

Transparency is the name of the game. Transparency opens doors for you and others.

So many times, we wait for permission to share information at work. Naturally, if information is given in strict confidence only, never share! However, there is far more to be transparent about than we might originally think. No need to wait for someone to tell you it’s OK. In many cases, it’s simply your information to share – whatever you take for granted, or whatever is happening in your little silo, or whatever feedback you personally get – that information is yours.

Here is how to be more transparent: Take anything intended for your goals or your benefit, and ask yourself if others can also benefit from it. Then, share. That’s it.

The benefit doesn’t need to be huge. In cases in which sharing information could be a game changer, by all means, do it. But maybe someone would simply find it interesting and make their day a little less drab – that’s reason enough to share. Maybe you simply find it interesting and others would benefit from your infectious glee – that’s reason enough, too.

Once you make a practice of transparency, you’ll discover mutual benefits that might not have even been obvious at the start: relationship-building, discovery, reciprocity in sharing information, motivation, problem solving, shifts in thinking.

Go try it. Comment and tell us what happens.


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