Transparency in Teamwork (for businesses)August 6, 2021
One key attribute Patty McCord likes to see in a strong team is transparency. While it can be difficult to build a transparent environment, it fosters quality feedback and strengthens communication between team members. When everyone has a clear understanding of the objectives, the team moves forward more effectively to accomplish them. One of the best ways to develop a transparent environment within your team is to lead by example.
How to navigate difficult conversations
Transparency ties directly into ensuring that you have the winningest team. When assessing the team that you built, there will be times where members will need to adapt. Companies are constantly changing, so it is not unreasonable for teams to do so too. Sometimes, the changes are too great, and some people on the team cannot adapt well enough. If those members cannot figure out how to meet the upcoming expectations, then find someone who can. People are willing to hear the truth if it comes from a place of sincere honesty.
Exploring different views
There will be times when your team may not agree with the decisions that you have made. Having a transparent environment allows them to make it known respectfully and constructively. Regardless of your approach to handling the conversation, Patty recommends asking these two questions:
- If you were in charge, what decision would you have made?
- If you were in charge, what information would you have wanted to have to make a good decision?
These questions allow you to better understand how they perceive the situation. It also makes it easier to explain your perspective, what information you had, and how you decided based on that information.
Learn from mistakes
No team is always going to be perfect. Mistakes will come up, but they do not have to be all bad. Mistakes are an opportunity to learn and grow. Acknowledging when something goes wrong is important, and telling people what you learned from it. Being transparent when it comes to mistakes shows not only your ability to recover but that you can adapt to prevent the situation again. Look to encourage this behavior in your team. It ensures that problems are found and solved swiftly, and measures are put in place to prevent the mistake from happening again.
Be willing to defend your ideas
Presenting a new idea to peers can be intimidating. And being brave enough to do so in a team can be difficult for some, but it is a necessary trait for every member of the team. Patty encourages individuals to “Have an opinion. Take a stand. Be right most of the time.” Encourage your team to not only be transparent with their thoughts but to boldly take a stand on their ideas, even if they conflict with others. Nobody on the team thinks the way you do, and that is a good thing. It is difficult for an argument to create discord in an environment where the objective of an argument is to improve the team. A healthy difference in opinion makes every team stronger. The goal is not to be right every time but to present an idea that could improve the team.