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The Importance of Transparent Communication in the Workplace

In an article released by Michigan State University, transparent communication is described as the act of both good and bad information being shared upward, downward, and laterally in a way that allows all to see the why behind the word. Providing open and honest communication and sharing of information contributes to a healthy, collaborative, and trusting work environment where individuals feel comfortable openly communicating and sharing ideas. To communicate transparently, first, we need to understand the many different methods of communication.

5 Types of Communication

According to an article by Drexel University, there are five different types of communication:

  1. Verbal Communication. This goes without saying, but this type of communication occurs when we speak with others. This can be via face-to-face, over the phone, or on various video conference platforms. What may not be so obvious is that verbal communication also includes the pitch, tone, and speed of our delivery.
  2. Non-Verbal Communication. This includes facial expressions, eye contact (or lack thereof), posture, and hand movements.
  3. Written Communication. With written communication, it is important to remember this is a reflection of you that can live on as there is a documented record. Whether in an email, report, chat feature, or social media posting, a poorly constructed sentence with errors and/or lack of clarity will stay with you.
  4. Listening. Do you associate listening as a form of communication? Active listening is most certainly a type of communication and allows us to effectively engage in verbal communication with individuals.
  5. Visual Communication. Any video, meme, or image you share is communicating a message. Is this a message you truly want to have associated with you? If yes, share away. But if it causes pause, think twice.

Displays of Transparent Communication

The article “Transparent Communication: Why and How to Embrace it at Work“ outlines 10 ways in which transparent communication can be displayed:

  • Build trust by showing vulnerability
  • Balance expressing empathy and respecting privacy
  • Use technology to provide a direct channel of communication
  • Be clear about your values
  • Provide stability and stay consistent
  • Avoid jargon and use words everyone can understand
  • Share real-time updates
  • Explain why you can’t share what you can’t share
  • Set up your space to be more welcoming
  • Don’t go overboard; avoid the transparency trap

Bottom Line

Transparent communication is an intentional act and encompasses so much more than what you say, when you say it, and how you say it. It sets the foundation for authentic relationships centered around mutual trust and allows for an engaged and innovative workforce. How can you intentionally become more transparent in your communication?

Becca Usher

Becca joined Aureus Group Healthcare Leadership in September 2013 and has more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry. With experience on the provider, payer, and insurance broker sides of healthcare, she possesses the operational, clinical, and regulatory knowledge necessary to adequately assess and screen candidates. As a recruiter, Becca focuses on healthcare administration searches across the United States with a priority focus in the Midwest. Becca graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, with a bachelor’s degree in exercise sport science. She also earned a Master of Healthcare Administration as well as an MBA from the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, MD

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