When does transparency become humiliation?

Motivation image by Michael GiuffridaRadical transparency in the workplace is good right?  You should let people know what you are thinking in real time and give them honest feedback about their performance and behaviors.  Every management and leadership class touches upon this in some way.  However, when can this good practice turn bad?

To begin, there are many ways to deliver feedback.  Tone and delivery can carry as much meaning as the words themselves.  While being truthful and radically transparent is the goal, done is a scolding way as if punishing a puppy who made a mess on the floor can be very damaging to the self esteem of the recipient.  If this is done by a senior leader, it could also lead to others not giving feedback about their peers as they are afraid they will “get yelled at”.

Another consideration is the audience that is present when the transparent communication is delivered.  Getting negative feedback can be difficult for some people and having it done in front of their peers can be humiliating.  Even coming from the most experienced leaders, this can be a fine line depending upon the subject matter and the filter with which the recipient is hearing it.

Overall, radical transparency is good.  But it doesn’t mean that you have a free ticket to say whatever you want to whoever you want whenever you want if you want to keep your team motivated.

Michael Giuffrida from Southington CT has been operating businesses since 1997.  He is an experienced entrepreneur in business management, profitable growth, business valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and information technology managed security services.

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