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Communication: How transparent should the Leadership be?

Leadership is often tricky, where leaders are faced with situations that require them to either alter the truth or lie outright. While this may be required and even necessary in most cases, it could be quite disturbing in some. The trick is to achieve a balance in ensuring transparency when required and avoiding it when not. However, the question still remains as to how transparent should leaders be and which areas require being transparent and which do not. Here are some facts about transparent leadership that should help you decide:

• Issue based transparency: Communication is successful, when transparency is issue based rather than being person specific. For instance, if there is a problem and it is clearly stated to your employees, while also encouraging them to come up with solutions; it is believed that business growth is faster and more effective. However, in order to achieve this level of transparency, leadership has to feel secure enough to admit mistakes and reach out. This is often achieved by creating an atmosphere of trust.

• Hiring and Firing: Another area where leadership can afford to be transparent is when it is hiring or firing personnel. In the first case, given that you are bringing in new people, it is important to state your requirements clearly along with the expectations. This will help the person understand what he or she is getting into. Similarly, when someone is not performing as expected, or goals are not being achieved, it is important for the overall good to be candid and forthright.

• Sharing lessons and mistakes: It is very easy to share success stories and all the good things but it is very difficult to admit and accept mistakes and share them to learn the lessons and avoid repeating them. However, if you truly want your business to grow, it is important to create an atmosphere where even your mistakes and lessons can be shared and will be appreciated and taken in the correct spirit. This will help employees learn more while also ensuring that the mistakes once committed are not repeated.

• Corporate culture: Transparency about the way your business works or your own personal work ethics will go a long way in creating a transparent corporate culture. This will ensure that no personnel on your team lack the basic knowledge about your company and its work processes. This in turn will ensure that there are no mistakes or issues in the future. Leadership should always ensure that the staff is well versed with the company rules, policies and regulations.

• Encourage feedback: One of the most important areas of communication, where you should demand transparency, is with regard to feedback. Often management tends to avoid getting feedback from their subordinates, which results in small problems increasing in magnitude. However, if you are truly committed to future growth, encourage feedback by developing an atmosphere of trust. This will help you improve and grow.

Finally, it is important for leadership to exercise transparency with regard to its strategies and goals for the future. Given that the employees are the ones who will be leading you to success, it is important that they are aware of where they are going and what plans you have for the future.

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