1a(1): having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that bodies lying beyond are seen clearly.
(2): allowing the passage of a specified form of radiation (such as X-rays or ultraviolet light)
b: fine or sheer enough to be seen through
2a: free from pretense or deceit
b: easily detected or seen through
c: readily understood
d: characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices
Transparency in conflict
Conflicts often involve misunderstandings and missing information. When one or more of the parties involved have incomplete information about the nature, origin or complexity of an issue it can lead to conflict. In the above definition of transparent, part 2d states "characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices". A lack of transparency in a business setting can create a cascading series of issues that will further complicate the situation.
It is human nature to tell stories. When there is an absence of information, people fill in the blanks on their own. Rarely are those blanks filled in with the positive, optimistic story. More often, those blanks will be filled in with negative speculation and gossip. All of which have a tendency to take on a life of their own!
Transparency while maintaining confidentiality
Very seldom in the business world are there situations where the whole story is provided to every person. There are often serious reasons to not provide a full picture or all the information to each person in the organization. Many of these reasons are legal — generally people are not told the reasons behind another employees' termination to maintain that individuals' privacy. Some reasons are strategic — it would be unwise to provide information about new technology or financial plans to every employee. So how do you strike that balance between keeping them in the dark and giving them all the details?
A successful leader will be able to strategically provide information to staff to help them fill in the blanks about changes occurring in the business world. This will mitigate conflicts as changes are made.
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