Employees need to be well-informed to make the best decisions. But many leaders hesitate to share information with staff. Such leaders may fear that:
- They’ll lose power by giving up information. Their “big picture” view used to be a source of power for managers. But today, the sheer volume of information can overwhelm you. If you don’t share information, you may fall behind. Also, you may create distrust and damage your employees’ problem-solving abilities.
- Employees won’t understand. Most leaders share information about issues close to employees’ jobs. However, they hesitate to share long-term information such as financial status or competitive comparisons. If you ask employees to take on a new point of view, translate information into practical terms everyone can understand.
Suggestion: Test for understanding by asking questions such as: “How will you use this information in your job (or to work on this project or goal)?” “How would you explain this information to someone else?”
— Adapted from Star Team Dynamics, Janelle Brittain, www.dynamicperformance.com.