As leaders, it is critical that we are able to engage with our teams, be seen as trustworthy, and position ourselves to lead with influence. One way to accomplish this is to increase the level of transparency throughout the organization. In fact, a recent survey indicates job seekers value transparency in a company more so than a fun, relaxed, or casual environment.* Why? Because people want to feel connected to more than a set of tasks. They want to trust their leadership, feel connected to their company, and spend their day among people they can relate to and fit in with.
While there are many ways to display transparency,the most important are to remain consistent, appropriate, and genuine in your attempts. I use the caveat “appropriate” because like many things, transparency is a balancing act. As a leader you can quickly cross the line or unintentionally give others the wrong impression of who you really are and the type of leader you want to be. Show too many cards and you risk offending others or having your team lose respect for you as a leader; don't show enough and people will question your intentions, think you are a know-it-all, or struggle to build a trusting relationship with you. So, where is that line and how do you walk it? In my opinion, there are three ways to master the art of transparency all while maintaining a boundary of respectful behavior.