We live in an era that values transparency and authenticity almost above all else. To be clear, I’m not complaining about that. Authenticity is powerful, and transparency is essential. But when we talk about transparency in business leadership, there is such a thing as too much information. This does not mean there are things we need to hide — far from it. What it means is, when you’re sharing information in a transparent way with your team, there’s a way to share it that actually equips them with more information — rather than burdens them with every single insignificant detail.
With information, as with many other things, quality over quantity matters. If we think transparency means trying to communicate EVERYTHING, then we’re not doing it right. There’s no way for your staff to filter through everything you’re sharing; if you’re just vomiting words at them, what communication is really happening? Are you clarifying what you mean? Sharing effectively means culling that info down into golden nuggets of helpful information. Your communication should be transparent, yes, but it should also be potent — and piling on unnecessary details in the name of ‘transparency’ dilutes the potency and actually diminishes the end clarification.
Mark Twain famously said, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” He knew: it’s actually much more difficult to distill communication into something clear and brief. But that is the best kind of communication — and that’s what’s really going to help your team.