How to Develop Transparency with Your Team

In today’s business culture, we have grown accustomed to people lying to us—or at least not being up front with us.  It seems commonplace to feel like we’re being snowed.  That’s why it is imperative that you have a transparency mindset with your team.


Your team will want to believe you.  But they are used to being conned.  So you will have to surmount their jaundiced view of management.

Here are three ways you can overcome distrust by developing a practice of transparency.


1. Be open.


If you want to be trusted, then you must show yourself trustworthy.  And a good way to do that is to be quick to share information.

If you are perceived as hoarding information, then that will kill any trust your team has in you.  And if you are unable to share any information with them at that time, then tell them that.  They will appreciate your openness.

Try to think through how you would feel if you were in their place.  That will help you to realize the high value your team will place on your openness and willingness to share information with them.


2. Be clear.


To be trusted, your words have to mean what you say they mean.  Make sure that you are clear in all your communications, whether in writing or in conversation.

When sending emails, re-read what you’re saying to make sure it makes sense.  If it is unclear, then start over again.  Getting an unclear email out quickly is not worth the damage it can do to your credibility.

And when you’re talking on the phone or in person, don’t be cagey or coy.  Make sure you are being clear in what you’re saying.  Remember: to be unclear is to be unkind.


3. Be real.


The fastest way to earn trust with your team is to be real with them.  That will help you develop a transparency mindset for everything you do.

Tell your team about the times you have messed up—and what you learned from your mistakes.  By dropping your guard around them, they will feel like they can drop their guard around you.

Your team wants to be led.  But they want to be led by someone they can trust.  And they will feel like they can trust you if you are real.

Develop a policy of transparency with your team.  Be willing to be open and clear and real with them.  And then they will want to follow you anywhere.


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