Openness and Trust

We’re talking about transparency and you can’t talk about transparency without talking about Openness and Trust.

It’s really the core. It’s really the definition of being transparent. It’s that willingness to be vulnerable and to be open and, ultimately, I think transparency, and I’m a great believer in this, transparency builds trust.

If you want to have a high-performing team, if you want to have an environment where people do well and things happen, you have to create a culture of trust, an environment of trust where people genuinely believe that you have their best in mind, and transparency is a great way of doing that.

So, be open. Be open to listening to people, be open to their ideas, and that’s your responsibility, really, to remain the student and not the critic.

But, there’s something more around transparency, the flip side of that, and it’s that whole notion of you not having any kind of secret agenda.

So, you don’t have, “Let’s tell the team one thing but actually do another.” If you get involved in that whole duplicity, you’re not authentic, you’re not in your natural best state, you’re not being transparent, and it won’t build trust, it’ll build fear, it’ll build rumors, it’ll have all sorts of issues around engaging with people, and treat others well.

It’s such a simple thing. We spend so much time at work together.

How about treating each other with dignity and respect? And I’ll talk about a culture of honour later on, and that is something that is very important to me.

But, at the core of that is a willingness to be open and transparent and to build trust. When they do communication training, people, they’re taught all these sort of ways of doing communication, but ultimately, if it’s not from a genuine perspective, if it’s not from a heart-place that says, “I’m just going to be real with you, I’m just going to be open and transparent”, then it really loses its value. And communication is really valued.

Every time people do those surveys, communication always comes out as the number one thing that they want that they don’t see enough.

So, if you’re communicating a lot, communicate more. If you’re communicating even more, communicate a little bit more again. Just when you think, “I can’t really get up and say this again.”, people are just starting to hear it.

So, give people time. Give people respect. We’re all busy, but give people the time to sit and to listen and be very open.

Answer the question again and again, and give people as much communication, as much information, and as much transparency as possible, and transparency builds trust and trust will build you a great leadership team.


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