Earn trust, and do not be afraid of having difficult conversations.
Photo by Tim Douglas
Is it better to say things as they are or not? That’s the question.
But it should not be. Being transparent is always better than withholding information. It’s okay to have a dilemma, though. Should you create panic and jeopardize performance, or should you let people deal with what comes next?
Be in favor of open communication as much as you can. Sure, there is confidential information that your legal contract demands, but you should never feel afraid of talking to your teams.
On the flipside, open confidence improves your confidence and credibility as a manager.
You can sleep better
How do you feel when you have to keep a secret? Want to say it out loud? Nervous about bringing it up at the wrong moment? It is tricky, as managers often think they cannot be honest.
But they can!
Honesty is the best policy. — Benjamin Franklin
One undeniable advantage of open communication is that you can sleep better. You do not have to worry about what you are doing wrong. No, your sleep is saved.
When you can sleep, you can rest. Enough sleep means enough strength and energy to deal with everyday routines. Sleeping is an underestimated leadership element. Treat it as holy.
Transparent communication builds trust
Do you know what employees like the most? Your teams appreciate it when they know what to expect from you. What is the way forward, and why?
Chaotic managers who change their minds all the time are annoying. As well as bosses who you never know what they want. But the ability to predict the direction is super important for business and employee development.
A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity. — Dalai Lama
There are many times when managers are secretive about upcoming organizational changes. They are shrugging their shoulders and saying: ‘We don’t know yet’. But they do. It is really terrible. As such changes need to be sensitively discussed and given with a spoon.
Bad leadership does not communicate openly about changes and anything that relates to people and business. Do not keep things for yourself. Discuss what you can do with your teams.
Being open cement relationships
How do you like people who are not open to you? People who say only half of the truth. You tolerate them, but probably do not find them credible.
Not being open results in poor personal integrity that affects you and your teams. Your employees want to know what they can expect from you. So, if you do not deliver relevant and honest information, they feel you do not mean it well.
Be transparent and show what kind of person you are.
Communication is always a two-way process. If you are transparent, you can expect your team to be open too. This trust is beneficial as you achieve so much more if you can work as a team.
Relationships at work are cemented by mutual respect, trust, and openness.
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is a success. — Henry Ford
Save stress and money
Transparent communication helps managers save energy and money. You prepare for a storm by bringing an umbrella. Now when you somehow smell that there is firing coming, why would you work hard? To be fired anyway?
It sucks, and no one cares. Losing that kind of trust and motivation is dangerous.
Leaders, who are able to communicate sensitively with their teams, use empathy to guide teams through changes. No matter what, people trust them. Even if the company is about to fail.
Transparent communication makes people stand by your side.
Because they care, they will work until the end as they are used to.
Open communication supports questions and discussions
Do you dare to speak in meetings? Are your questions accepted and answered?
Many people do not have such luxury. They are not listened to, and questions are considered an evil provocation. If you want to become an efficient boss, you have to make space for doubts, questions, and suggestions.
Open discussion is key to growth and understanding what people are capable of. Do not support it, and talents will leave you.
No question is stupid or wrong. Let your team challenge you.
You find out so much by letting people speak and asking questions. Sit down, be quiet, and listen to what they say. That is one quality you should really aim to have. Everyone wants to be heard. Give it to them.
I never learned anything by talking. I only learn things when I ask questions. — Lou Holtz
To wrap this up
The most successful managers are open managers whom people can trust. Trust is not given. It is earned. You earn it through proper communication.
One thing I learned when I worked as a manager was that people were stronger than I thought. So, no need to hold their hands and protect them. They can bear a load.
It is always better to say things as they are than to put honey around their mouths. You would not like that. So, do not do it either. Just do not be afraid of having difficult conversations. They belong to the job, and it is always better to have them earlier than later when everyone already knows anyway. :-)
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