Transparency in Leadership Create Powerful Relationships

Recently, during our daily team meeting, our office manager asked us a question. We went around the room, each taking a turn to answer. There were many tears. Within twenty minutes, we had all grown a little bit closer.

I will share the question with you below, but the point I want to emphasize is the power of intentional transparency. Meaning, we share on purpose what is inside our hearts and invite others to do the same. This practice can take your relationships to another level.

transparency in leadership

The question posed to our staff was: If you were granted one wish for yourself, what would it be? And why?

The answers varied from I wish I could have a bigger house; to I wish for health and peace in my home; to I wish I could have met my grandmothers; to I wish I could bring my mother back to tell her I am sorry about how I treated her when I was younger.  We had to pass the tissue box around.

Practicing Intentional Transparency

As a leader, I encourage you to identify which principles are key to your relationships at home, at work, and with your friends. One important principle for me is practicing intentional transparency. Here’s what I mean…

As we go through life stressed, overworked, and hurt, we build walls to protect ourselves. We hesitate to bring them down in fear others will attack us. And that may be true with some people.

So we must choose whom we can trust with our hearts and have the courage to share it with them. For example, it wouldn’t be wise or appropriate to reveal to just anyone that you wish you would have met your grandmothers because you don’t know what it feels like to be loved by a grandmother. However, sharing this personal truth with the key people in your life, and in the right setting, can be very powerful.

Power in Intentional Transparency

The power lies in intentionally making ourselves transparent. And here is why:

  • In moments when we are intentionally transparent, people see us as human beings, not merely as a coworker, boss, or team member. One who, underneath the strong façade we may project, has a tender heart with deep feelings, stirring emotions, and real dreams—some of which may be met and some which may not.
  • When you are transparent, people are naturally invited to be transparent with you. Then you too can see them in a new light. In an authentic way, we connect through our humanity.
  • When we let our walls down to discuss one deep topic, we open our hearts and minds to discuss other deep topics which may be pertinent to our relationship, perhaps ones that may have been off limits before.
  • When we give one another a safe place to share our hearts, we understand the motivation for why we both do what we do.
  • When we are vulnerable with each other, we almost always treat one another more gently, more gingerly, and with more love.

Transparency in Leadership

The rest of our day at work went very well. Those moments affected us. We even began treating our patients with a bit more humanity as well. I felt we had better teamwork, even though we did not discuss teamwork. It never fails, when relationships get deeper, everything gets better.

As leaders we must model vulnerability and transparency. Twitter_logo_blue Occasionally I make it a point to share something close to my heart with my team. Perhaps something painful I am going through or something difficult I am struggling with, or even something exciting they can celebrate with me. I treat them as I treat my family or close personal friends. I do that because I care for the relationships, and I want them to see me not only as their boss, but as a fellow human being. As their friend and their partner in the journey.

Because I am.

Your Friend,
Wes Saade MD Signature

For Further Reading:

Preemptive Leadership
Healthy Relationships Should Not Be Ignored

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