Learn how to practice transparency in order to build trust and goodwill. Jodi Glickman shares tips for being completely transparent at work even when things go bad.
- When's the last time you sat on the tarmac, you are on a plane, flight was delayed, and you're sitting there twiddling your thumbs, wondering when you're going to take off, is the flight going to be canceled, are you going to make it to LA, are you going back to the East Coast. When you're sitting there, and you don't know what's happening, your blood pressure starts to rise, you get all anxious and frustrated because you don't have information. And then if the pilot comes on and says, hey guys, sorry to let you know, we're being delayed, there's a mechanical issue, we're expecting to take off in 90 minutes.
All of a sudden, you're like, okay, I got it, I can live with 90 minutes. The delay doesn't have to change, but not having information, that's what drives people batty, that's what makes us crazy, when you don't know what's going on. It's the same reason we don't have any trust in the auto mechanic because he just takes your car and you don't know what he's going to do with it. Or you go to the doctor and you have no idea what that bill is that you're going to get and whether your health insurance is going to cover it.
Industries where there's no transparency are industries where there is very little trust. If you want to make me love you at work, you have to be totally and completely transparent with good news and with bad news. As Jamie Diamond said, problems don't age well. (laughing) They only get worse. You have a problem, you're going to try and fix it. Boss will never find out, you sweep it under the rug. That is a sure fire way for disaster. If there is a problem coming down the pipeline, you have to raise a red flag immediately.
You got to tell me that something's wrong or tell me that you screwed up. Be transparent. Doesn't feel good, it's hard to do, but you have to do that, and then you take the initiative, you focus on forward momentum and you tell me how you're solving the problem. If I ask you a question that you don't know the answer to, don't try and make it up. Don't come up with something else. Be transparent. The strategy is, here's what I know, here's what I don't know, here's how I'll figure it out. We're almost always operating with imperfect information.
We almost never know everything, and chances are, Murphy's right, if your boss stops by and asks you a question, it's going to be the question you don't know the answer to. So instead of lying or making it up, or getting all flustered, here's what I know, here's what I don't know, here's how I'll figure it out. You build trust with people by being transparent. Tell me the good news, tell me the bad news, tell me how you're fixing the problem. That's how you make me love you. People always ask me about transparency as it relates to the down load.
When I'm leading with the punch line, what if I had bad news? Shouldn't I tell you something good first, and then get to the bad news? When's the last time someone walked into your office spends 15 minutes with you, and then told you, oh by the way, we're letting you go. Or oh by the way, I'm so sorry that project you've been working on, it's been scrapped. And you think to yourself, have we just been sitting here for 15 minutes. Am I in the same room with you? If you have good news, or you have bad news, I want you to lead with it, always. People are hungry for transparency.
Don't beat around the bush, don't hide behind negative information, tell me upfront and center. How about when you pick up the phone and it's a vendor on the other end of the line and they're trying to sell you something. But instead of telling you that, they start my asking you how your weekend was, or what you're doing this afternoon. And you're trying in the back of your head to place the phone call, like who is this, and why are we talking? It is the opposite of generosity when you're not transparent. When I'm calling anyone, I always stat with hi, this Jodi Glickman calling from Great on the Job.
I'm calling to blank. I'm calling to tell you about an update on our end. I'm calling to ask for your business, we're proposing a new product. I'm going to tell you that all of the time. Because you're not going to engage with me otherwise. Even if you're in sales. No one wants to feel like you're shmoozing them, right. They want to know why are you calling and am I going to choose to engage or not. Be transparent. That's how you build trust.
- Exploring the benefits of working for people you love
- Reaping the benefits of making people love you
- Incorporating generosity into your everyday life
- Demonstrating initiative at work
- Maintaining forward momentum
- Remaining transparent even when things go wrong