You have insights into confidential strategy and sensitive company information, which means you need to be careful about what info you divulge to employees.
But worrying too much about oversharing can create distance between you and your employees. It’s a delicate balance act, writes Karin Hurt, executive director at Verizon Wireless, and the trick is to not favor one style exclusively.
Less is more
There’s good reason to create distance. Some parts of a company’s strategy – especially financial strategy – needs to be kept close. Telling too much of a plan in progress can be dangerous as things change, so there’s no need to get employees worked up if there’s a chance that a change may not happen.
And sharing all the details about a controversial choice in the company may seem like the moral thing to do but it’s not always the best decision. For example, one leader lost credibility by sharing too much about her intentions to stay in a job for just a certain period of time.
Her team resented feeling like part of a developmental assignment. They wanted a visionary leader who was in for the long haul.
Sharing more makes you “human”
While you can’t share sensitive and strategic company information, there is something to be said for leaders who share more about themselves. Karin Hurt found success with her team when she opened up more about herself and the daily challenges she faces outside of work.
It can certainly bring you on an even level with your employee if they can see that you go through the same worries and challenges – balancing family responsibilities and work, for example.
How do you like to lead your team? Do you find success at a distance? Or do you share more about yourself or the company? Let us know in the comments below.