As a leader of a team or an organization creating a culture of transparency can be a powerful tool to build trust and organizational cohesion.
But what should we share, and when? How much is too much?
One thing to consider the type of information: is it tactical or strategic? Is it key to executing the next steps on the path, or is it helping to make sure we are on the right path? The level of information and the way it is presented will depend on what its purpose is.
Tactical: How can you tell if you are giving too much information to a leader about day-to-day operations or a specific project? How much should you share about what you are doing behind the scenes or the reasons for your decisions?
Below are 3 questions to ask yourself:
When it comes to transactional information, it’s important to keep people in the loop, but more often than not it should be at a higher level. Just as you aren’t always interested in HOW the job got done, just that it did (and satisfactorily), keeping status updates and decisions made at the summary level allows supervisors to make informed decisions and act on their own with a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of their decision.
Too many details will make your meetings long and could lead to confusion from expecting your team to be able to connect the dots and understand their impact to their work at the same time. Make it easier for them by giving the highlights and the outcomes and offer offline explanations to anyone interested.
Strategic: More often than not, we need to share the strategic vision and mission of our organizations and projects. This helps to make sure everyone’s activities are in alignment with the overall expected outcomes.
Most of us communicate the “What” and the “How” of our activities pretty well, but it is also important to share "Why" we are doing them. Good things come from including why we are doing things. Ask yourself, "Am I....":
Remember to share:
Be aware of dangerous territory:
When in Doubt:
Always ask yourself these 2 questions:
Have you ever been in a situation where oversharing actually backfired? What did you do to overcome that challenge or make the situation right? After reading these suggestions, is there anything you might do differently next time?
Photo courtesy of pakorn
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