This DATIS blog article, “How Your Lack of Transparency is Destroying Your Team“, was originally shared by Mike Figliuolo, thoughtLEADERS, LLC, on October 8th, 2014 and was reposted with permission.
People want to know what’s going on. They expect their leaders to be up front with them and share information.
When “leaders” use information as a source of power, it’s the beginning of the end for their team. People see right through that power grab and that “leader’s” trust quotient plummets.
Most of us know this yet many of us still hoard information. Why? It all seems very reasonable when we do. The logic goes like this:
– I’m the team leader and I’ve been placed in a position of trust and responsibility.
– In that position of responsibility, I work on important things.
– Some of those things are so important that people can’t be told about them until they’re “ready” to be told.
– That means I have to withhold information from my people because it’s in their own best interests.
Rationalizing like this is the fastest way to get your people talking behind your back. It gets them all atwitter (or even worse… on Twitter) at the water cooler wondering what the latest palace intrigue is. They begin to wonder if the secret information you’re withholding is actually about them and then paranoia sets in. And while all of this is going on, no work is getting done and people are freaking out. And it’s all your fault.
But it can be prevented.
Simply tell people what’s going on.
The things you’re working on truly aren’t that secret. It’s quite rare that a leader is involved in something that truly cannot be shared while it’s being worked on. Sure, there are exceptions. Layoffs, mergers, acquisitions, and nuclear launch codes are a few circumstances that come to mind where secrecy is required. Other than that, not so much.
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