TMI: Leaders Who Share Too Much

Transparency builds trust. TMI overwhelms. Can leaders share too much? I received this note from a Let’s Grow Leaders subscriber:

“The organization I work for prides itself on transparency – I too believe this is very important – however, there are some times when we try to be transparent when the information actually discourages the receiving party unnecessarily. I have been promoting transparency when there is good to be had – and not a way of removing guilt.”

So I open the conversation to the LGL community. When do leaders share too much?

4 Ways Leaders Share Too Much

  1. Sharing Angst – Share vision. Share rationale. Share decision-making processes. Don’t share angst. Sharing too much may make you feel better, but stress multiplies as it rolls down hill. Better to buffer. Teach political savvy, but pare them from turmoil and distracting B.S.
  2. Feedback Overload – Your team wants straight-talk and deserves to know where they stand. Pace yourself. No one can grow when watered with a feedback firehose. Position feedback so that it can be heard and acted on at a reasonable pace.
  3. Admitting Every Flaw – Don’t feel compelled to expose every imperfection. If guests compliment me on my home at a party, there’s no need to admit I shoved all the toys into a big pile in the basement. “Thank you” works just find. Teach your team to position their work in a positive manner, and address significant concerns head on. It’s okay to positively position your work.
  4. Group Therapy – You want to show up as a real human being. Being vulnerable helps others to share. But, don’t over do it. Over sharing distracts from the vision and the work at hand. Maintain an appropriate balance.