The Transparent Manager

Are you a transparent manager? Like the invisible man, who cannot be seen but who’s impact always saves the day, or more like the window, you know it is there but you can’t really see it or notice it although it protects you from the elements.

Being transparent can be a good thing. Transparency in how you run your department or company makes life for those around you predictable and people tend to like predictable environments as it takes away worries that distract them from reaching their goals.

Providing Goal Clarity is an important part of being a transparent manager. If people understand the Goals of the company and how it trickles down to their spot in the organization they will know what is expected of them, can plan their actions and be able to give the company their best efforts and results.

When you have ensured that absolute goal clarity exists for your employees, it will be easier to take the hard decisions that are sometimes necessary in a company and gain acceptance by the workforce. Because you are transparent in your goals and your process, the way you want to the work to be organized and the financial realities of the company’s business, your staff will understand and appreciate, although maybe not like, the decisions that are made.

Being transparent is not to be confused with not being a factor in the process. Your transparency needs to help the process and provide predictability for the staff, not be an empty black hole that provides no guidance and has no impact.

So how can you become more transparent? A great start is to analyze all the decisions you are involved in and exactly what your role is. How can you provide such guidance and Goal Clarity to your staff that they can understand the decision that will need to be taken and do you really need to be involved in it? Create learning opportunities out of difficult situations so that your staff will be able to work through it independently the next time. Look at your communication and see where you can provide more meaningful insights. Ask for feedback in a non threatening way, use available tools for it, and act upon the outcomes to continuously improve your style.

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