The benefits of the see through leader
Obviously I don’t literally mean see through but I believe it raises an important point that’s worthy of our constant attention as leaders, whatever our level.
Often in work, as in life, we find ourselves misjudged. Assumptions have been made about our decisions, actions and behaviours that may be anything from a little off beam to just plain wrong. And that’s a challenge for us and those making the assumptions. A number of leaders I have worked with have been afflicted by this challenge.
Yet whose fault is this….me the leader or you the ‘assumer’? Well it is rather like that golden rule of communication that states if the message is misunderstood that’s the fault of the communicator/transmitter not the receiver.
And so it is with our leadership. If people are making incorrect assumptions about our intentions, motives, behaviours, beliefs, et al we need to do something about our transparency and clarity before the odd misimpression becomes a serious thicket of misunderstanding and mistrust.
Offering that level of transparency requires us to be really clear with ourselves about our intentions, motives and beliefs so a deep and consistent level of reflection is a key practice. And we need to be engaging our heart in how we show up – ensuring our outer expression matches our inner life, hand on heart.
Then we need to be up for the level of exposure and vulnerability that comes with leading more transparently, engaging our courage in bringing people close up to the feelings and thoughts that drive our actions and inviting them to challenge when we act out of the character we’re sharing with them.
Uncomfortable? Possibly. Though wouldn’t it be worth it for the quality of relationships we’d build, the standards of transparency we’d set and the resulting trust that would grow and performance that would flow in our teams and organisations. I think it would.