Brené Brown, in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, states,"Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It´s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen." When we talk about building trust within a organization, we talk about this very thing. There is great value in open communication, intentional transparency and strategic vulnerability. In fact, the trust that develops from these three ideas builds the foundation for the relationships we need in order to build a collaborative and dynamic organizational culture. But how do we actually cultivate transparency and vulnerability? We have discussed how we model these ideals through communication, but how do we help it grow among our teams?
First, let me say that modeling is one of the primary ways to cultivate anything we desire to see within an organization. Its value should not be underwhelming or overlooked. You may have heard the phrase, "Children learn more from what is caught than from what is taught." You have also heard that actions speak louder than words. These sayings exist in our culture for a reason. They are true. Lead by example, but then, incorporate a few strategies to help build transparency and vulnerability among your teams. In the next section, we will discuss three ways to do just that.
Modeling is one of the primary ways to cultivate anything we desire to see within an organization.... Children learn more from what is caught than from what is taught.
How to cultivate transparency and vulnerability within a team
Cultivating transparency and vulnerability in an organization where these very ideals have been frowned upon in our modern world can seem like a daunting task for any school leader who is experiencing a change. It is even more daunting, however, to be in a situation that demands transparency and vulnerability and to find that it doesn't currently exist within an organization's teams. In a crisis situation, we don't have time for guessing games or false aplomb, from leaders or from those we lead. Thus, it is imperative that this type of open culture exists long before a crisis emerges. We know, however, that this doesn't just happen overnight. So, how do we cultivate a culture of transparency and vulnerability among our teams before we ever reach that pivotal turning point? The steps don't have to be as daunting as they seem.
Just as we have to reiterate and practice expectations for behavior and communication in the classroom with our students, we must do the same with adults. Building a collaborative and dynamic team takes time and strategy, beginning with a focus on how we communicate with one another. By being intentional and strategic with the information we wish to foster, we can expedite the process of developing trusting and trustworthy teams that will serve us and each other well in the face of any crisis.
Linger a Little Longer:
1. How comfortable are you with demonstrating transparency and vulnerability as it stands today?
2. What is one way you can foster deeper transparency and vulnerability on your campus? What is the next right step?
3. Spend some time exploring the work of Brené Brown. What is one quote you can utilize in your next communication to your staff?