Great leaders tend to exhibit a number of desirable traits, but few of these traits are more important than transparency. Most workplaces hinge on clear, concise communication from their leaders, and botching this part of the job can quickly spell disaster in a variety of ways. At the same time, strong communication can promote countless positive shifts in office culture and influence an underlying sense of trust.
Here are a few quick tips for strengthening your transparency as a leader.
Always be direct
Few successful leaders flat-out lie to their employees — especially when it comes to major office announcements and developmental matters — but too many succumb to beating around the bush during meetings. Be as direct as possible when communicating key information; this will not only benefit your employees and keep them informed, it will help you commit honesty and firmness to habit in your daily leadership obligations.
Always be timely
Building off the previous section: many leaders, though well-intentioned, sometimes mistakenly put off employee issues and save them for periodic reviews or developmental check-ins. The division of this approach may seem logical on the surface, but in reality, they are a quick vein into toxicity, anxiety, and confusion. For instance, say an employee is late to work twice in a row and you fail to address this matter in the moment; it may seem excessive to it up, for the first time, during a review several months later. All this will do is stoke that employee’s panic levels when they may already feel vulnerable, which itself could create animosity and fear down the line. Instead, assure your employees that you will not spring unfair surprises on them in this manner, encouraging them to return the favor and address their own concerns in real time.
Always be accessible
Leaders, like their employees, have their own daily responsibilities that sometimes transcend leadership alone — and this makes them just as susceptible to stress stemming from amassed work, impending deadlines, and expectations from their own higher-ups. That said, as you navigate such obstacles, be sure to never let your own work eliminate your accessibility as a leader. Sometimes, as you are tackling complex organizational obligations, you may suddenly become inundated with comparatively minor employee issues and questions, and it can be easy to ignore or shrug off these matters for a perceived greater good of remaining personally organized. This, while also logical on the surface, is an incorrect and toxic mentality within leadership. Focus on strengthening your compartmentalization skills in these moments, tiering questions and issues if you have to, but never blowing them off or leaving them on the backburner for too long.