Leaders who are open about information are frequently surprised at the innovative ways in which the information is used and at the dramatic results this can achieve. The potential risks that full disclosure and openness might pose are more than offset by the sense by the empowerment experienced by people who feel trusted and are therefore inspired to contribute.
Do you share openly?
Spirit@Work is an iPhone app that offers 77 words to inspire their leadership and living. Currently free, downloaded, and, when you do, open the app and then shape your phone. It will deliver a word of the day for you to focus on. My card today is, “The Card of Knowing.”
I worked in an office where the operating principle was “need to know.”
We got the message that we were supposed to “shut up and sell.”
Occasionally, I would be asked for my opinion generically but never given texture or context for the question to provide a textured answer.
“What do you think about . . . “ is a different question than, “We’re having a problem with . . . . Such and such is happening. We need to figure out a solution. What do you think about . . . ?“
It’s like asking, “What do you think about the Atlantic Ocean,” vs. “I’m thinking of taking a cruise across the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll be at sea for a week, but my husband/wife/partner has a history of seasickness. What do you think about . . . “
When I ran retreats for an organization, we had a leadership team and a 40 person staff. Usually, we, leaders of the weekend, would meet in the open in front of the staff to offer transparency about our thinking, our conflicts, and how we resolved them.
Some staff members would sit and join us, listen, ask questions, learn and offer ideas we hadn’t considered.
It helped me as the leader to hear concerns, worries, and more.
Being open with my process helped me hear more, and on only one occasion did I ever receive pushback on my decisions. I was able to demonstrate I was right with the results the attendees told us after the event.
I believe openness in most circumstances benefit organizations, groups, and individuals except when I need to make quick decisions. Even then, I communicate my thinking to people so they can hear what I am doing.
Openness is easy for me.
Sometimes, I have seen that somebody can turn my openness against me for their advantage.
That’s about them.
If I’ve made a mistake, I take responsibility for it.
And I ultimately have to make decisions.
I want the best input to make them.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2021
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon and Roku, as well as on BingeNetworks.tv for Apple TV and 90+ smartsets.
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