Transparency is something that has become an important theme in my life. I started thinking about it and working through it during my first months of leadership. It was something that I wanted my team to really embrace. I needed them to know I was someone they could be transparent with, and that I would be equally as transparent with them. I wanted them to feel like there were no hidden dark corners of the work we were doing- that the organization we worked for had a clear purpose- and if they had any questions or concerns about it- they could come to me and I would be as transparent about the mission as I knew. This has served me well with my team.
Recently I’ve realized what role it plays in relationships and friendships too. It seems obvious, right? But I think it’s important to acknowledge that part of transparency means being vulnerable. And that’s where things get messy. Who wants to be honest about her “messy”? Ya know? And so we CLAIM to be transparent. It’s the “what you see is what you get” idea. But that doesn’t really translate into transparency, does it? Because who you are on the outside- how you appear to everyone else- does not mean it’s the real guts of who you are. The outside doesn’t show the inside pain and the inside confusion and the inside chaos. It doesn’t show the past, the failures, the celebrations, the pride. The outside is just the shell of everything really important on the inside. And so to let someone see that core- that chaos of good and bad- that’s true transparency, if you ask me.
So be brave. Be transparent. Because if you ever choose to spend your life with someone again, don’t you want it to be your true self? That whole core and shell of what makes you who you are?