Why Transparency Matters – Leading With Open Communication
Becoming a leader of people for the first time can be a daunting prospect. Often, new leaders find themselves leading people with whom they once worked alongside, which can make effective communication difficult. Previous allegiances and trusting relationships may become blocked, and jealousy from those on whom you relied in the past may surface.
The communication style you adopt from day one significantly influences your management style and team dynamics.
3 top tips for leading with open communication from our Introduction to Supervisory Skills course include:
- Accountability & Responsibility – Embracing a supportive approach to rectifying mistakes builds a culture of honesty within your team. On the other hand, closed communication channels or, worse, chastisement that damages the workplace, foster a culture of cover-ups and blame. As a leader, you should not be afraid to admit your own mistakes, demonstrating your humanity and willingness to acknowledge when you are wrong. Such openness encourages others to do the same, fostering a culture of support and development.
- Empowerment – Acknowledging that you don’t know everything and may need your team’s support can be seen as a weakness by new leaders. However, don’t hesitate to ask for help. One of the biggest barriers to delegation is the fear that someone else might do a better job. But by being open with your team and acknowledging your weaknesses, you may uncover untapped potential within the team. This can benefit your team and exemplify that, as a people leader, you genuinely have their best interests at heart.
- Building Trust – Never apologise for expressing your authentic emotions. As a leader, it is essential to be open about your feelings, setting an example for others. Gaining trust requires you to showcase your vulnerability while carefully selecting your communication approach, staying in the mature adult phase of Eric Berne’s ‘Ego States’ model. By doing so, your team will feel encouraged to reciprocate, fostering a culture of trust and openness. Remember, trust is earned through genuine connection and emotional honesty.
As new leaders embark on their journey, open communication is one of the keys to success. It is vital to recognise the profound impact communication styles can have on team dynamics. Embracing transparency and vulnerability sets the stage for a culture of trust and support within the team.