How Transparent Are You?
I recently returned from making a presentation and when my team asked me how it went, to their surprise I replied “I think it went too well.” Now you might be wondering how that is possible, so let me explain…
I was really in-the-flow and spontaneous, and at times perhaps a little too unfiltered. Overall, I don’t think I offended anyone too badly, but it got me wondering if there was such a thing as being too authentic or transparent as a leader. So while I don’t profess to know the answer, I would at least like to pose a question that intrigued me.
How much transparency is too much? or not enough?
First, let’s examine a working definition of transparency which comes from the HayGroup’s Emotional Competency Inventory:
Transparency – maintaining integrity, acting congruently with one’s values.
Some examples of not being transparent enough include being too guarded, over-analyzing to the point of not saying anything of value or truth.
Is it possible as a leader to be too transparent or conversely not transparent enough? Our answer is a resounding YES!
I have felt that I have balanced this polarity effectively for most of my professional career. However, I am self-aware enough to realize that I’m a bit biased, if not delusional, about my own behavior and performance. But the dilemma that I face in both my coaching and training roles, is to be both present and authentic simultaneously. While this is a very effective place to come from, sometimes too much authenticity can lead to unfiltered expression which at times can be inappropriate.
So what do we do about it?
First, be clear on what your values are and second, focus on your own self-observation through journaling. Develop a deeper awareness of your own transparency.