Leadership for Life – Let Me Tell You Why

By on November 30, 2012
Let Me Tell You Why

Our Leadership experts will be sharing tips and insights for everyone, at any station in life, at both home and work. Leadership for Life – the skills you embrace represent who you really are at all times.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Great leaders tend to be transparent to their employees and customers. By this I mean that they communicate what they’re thinking and feeling, and reveal their chain of logic for making specific decisions that affect the organization.

We often hear about leaders who keep their thoughts and feelings “close to the vest.” That is, they don’t tell anyone (maybe a few trusted senior colleagues) their plans, ideas, or their decision-making rationale. Being the strong silent type may have worked for John Wayne or Gary Cooper (extra points if you know who these people are), but in today’s business environment, openness and transparency create a more trusting environment. If you want to keep your Gen-Xers and Millennials happy and humming along, you need to keep them in the loop.

“OK,” you say, “I can see why thoughts and rationale are important to share, but feelings? I don’t go for that touchy-feely stuff.”

Neither do I (well, sometimes), but I’m not talking about revealing your feelings about your innermost life. I’m referring to your feelings about what goes on in the organization. Have you ever been anxious about the outcome of a particular initiative? Are you ever really pleased and happy about the successes of your team? Do you get upset when sales drop? These are the kinds of feelings that team members should be hearing about.

By sharing thoughts, feelings, and rationale connected to business issues, you model and foster an atmosphere of trust within the organization, and increase the level of engagement of the people you work with.

To (re)coin a phrase: “Try it, you’ll like it!”

You can share your thoughts and feelings with me by calling 314-539-5329 or sending email to bschapiro@stlcc.edu. Consider it practicing a new skill.

About Barry Schapiro

Barry is the Workforce Solutions Group Practice Leader for Leadership and Professional Development. His experience includes delivery and management of business training in a variety of industries, with specialties in leadership, team development, generational diversity, and customer service. Twitter

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