Three Tips To Be Transparent Without Oversharing
Transparency in the workplace is important—especially for leaders. When you commit to being transparent, this means you are open and honest, even when it’s difficult. This kind of openness doesn’t cost a thing and can help improve morale and even lower stress on your team. Transparency also leads to trust. When everyone on your team feels empowered to share their ideas and feedback, they will want to do everything they can to help your organization succeed.
However, there’s a fine line between transparency and sharing too much information at work. You want to be upfront and forthcoming with your team, but without overdoing it. Joel Schwartzberg, an author and communications executive, says that oversharing is not a virtue. But how do you know just how much to share? It helps to start with some ground rules, he says.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Schwartzberg’s tips that can enhance your leadership rather than diminish it when it comes to transparency at work.
1. Determine why you are sharing information. Before blurting out something you might regret or sharing confidential news, stop and think about the purpose. Transparency is only as meaningful as the content you share, notes Schwartzberg. Think why you are sharing something and what goal it serves. The information may not be relevant or required. And as a result, you may end up sharing information that could damage your reputation at work. If you’re on the fence about sharing something, consider your reasons for bringing it up in the first place.
2. Match your communication to what your team needs. Another important tip to be transparent without oversharing is to remember that there’s no “I” in transparency, says Schwartzberg. He said one of his clients wanted to motivate her team after a poor quarter. The client wanted to be perfectly transparent with her team, so she decided to confess that things weren’t great and use what motivated her personally to try and inspire her team. Schwartzberg says she missed the mark because her team really needed an honest assessment from her—not random motivational tools. You can be sure you don’t make the same mistake by applying transparency on the issue or situation—not yourself.
3. Remember that you don’t need to share every detail. It’s good to be transparent, but this doesn’t mean revealing every data point and option. For example, Schwartzberg says that when he worked with an HR executive who was scaling back on his company’s benefits, the executive initially planned to reveal entirely too many details. Most details are dispensable, Schwartzberg points out. He worked with the leader to tighten up his presentation to be more relevant and concise. You can do the same when sharing with your team by asking “Does my team need to know this to understand the situation” and “Do they need to know this as a true point of interest?”
Everyone appreciates transparency. As you strive to be more open at work, remember that your news should matter and not meander, says Schwartzberg. Think about the reason for sharing and remember your audience. By being more strategic and thoughtful, you will come across as a more competent and effective leader.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Joel Schwartzberg is a communications executive, public speaking trainer and author of Get to the Point! Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter.