Become a better leader through this one trait

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[Written by Steve Van Remortel on September 2nd, 2020]


“To be a good boss, you must be transparent. There’s a correlation between worker happiness and workplace transparency. Leaders and managers who offer transparency will earn the respect and devotion of their team.” – David Niu

As I work with leaders across all types of organizations, I recognize some of the common qualities of successful leaders. From my experience, transparency has become one of the most valuable characteristics of effective leaders and team members. Why is that?

Someone who is transparent understands themselves and is real about their strengths and weaknesses. Being transparent makes an individual more coachable and easier to work and communicate with. Transparency allows you to have deeper conversations and build healthier relationships.

When a leader is transparent, other people want to follow him or her.

It becomes part of the culture of the leadership team and the organization as a whole. Planning sessions and meetings are more productive with transparent leadership teams.

They can resolve the sensitive issues with candor and respect, which leads to a high-performance leadership and organizational team. They are “real” about the challenges facing them and attack them head-on.

The dictionary definition of transparency is “to be readily understood, honest and open,” and “characterized by visibility or accessibility of information, especially concerning business practices.” I interview many candidates for leadership positions, and transparency is one of the first and most important things that I look for in these interviews.

How can you determine the level of transparency an individual has? Ask them questions that you already know the answers to. Many of these questions and their answers can come from using behavioral science assessments in your hiring process. The assessment results provide you 70+ pages of content on the candidate that they have not seen yet.

When you use behavioral science, I am 100% confident you will be able to determine if they are being real with you versus executing an interview strategy and telling you what they think you want to hear.

Suppose their answers are not consistent with the behavioral assessment results (that are validated at greater than 90% reliability). In that case, the candidate is likely not being transparent with you, which is a red flag.

Transparency is critical in making the right hire for the individual as well as the employer.

I believe transparency is the window to your future. It gives every individual the ability to identify and leverage their strengths in their personal and professional life. It allows you to wrap your strengths and talents around your personal strategy to optimize your success.

Ironically, having transparency about your weaknesses brings you strength because you can manage them more effectively rather than trying to cover them up. Transparency is the foundation of humility. It’s easy to be humbled when we are truly honest about our flaws and mistakes.

Being transparent also helps make it easier for you to create your annual development plan because what you need to work on is very clear. Before my breakthrough regarding transparency, I used to lack it when I would make a mistake.

The last thing I wanted to be about my mistake was transparent. My ego would get in the way. But I discovered that this was limiting my growth as a leader and as a person. How can you learn from a mistake if you aren’t open and willing to talk about it with your advisors, friends, and those closest to you?

Transparency not only led to greater growth but a greater sense of freedom.

Transparency is the key to a life of growth and fulfilling relationships. And one of the best ways to get transparency from others is to show it yourself. Remember, Those Who Plan – PROFIT!