Let me ask you a question; as in what kind of environment would you prefer. Exhibit A where everyone shares everything with each other; there are no secrets and people here are not scared to voice their opinions as they know the opinions expressed will be taken in the right manner. And then there is Exhibit B where everyone is secretive, they hesitate in sharing anything with others. The environment is totally mysterious and where people are not comfortable is expressing their views with a fear that it will be taken negatively. Which environment would you choose? Well, the majority of the people will go with Exhibit A as their preferred environment, as things are transparent there, hence, the trust factor is very high there.

The word transparent means being clear and out in the open without any secrets. No one likes to be excluded; the feeling of being left out is not really appealing. With secrecy, people will be in constant doubt about the intention of the person and the organisation alike. The most important thing which would be gained out of transparency is trust and trust is “the” foundation of any relationship; be it a professional or personal and Transparency helps to build trust fast.

People who work in an organisation, who are transparent in their dealings, love their jobs as they feel that they are an integral part of the company hence they tend to give more than what it is required to the company. The employees trust their management completely as they do not hide anything from their employees. One of the factors responsible for the success of the company is transparency; be it with the employees or with their customers. People don’t trust what they can’t see. By opening things up, you assure people that there’s nothing to hide. By sharing the company goals, their financials, the future plans with the employeesyou make them accountable. Many companies encourage the employees to share their ideas which they think will benefit the company’s progress. These initiatives by the company will lead to improved performance and productivity of the employees andwillalso help in building trust in the company.

Transparency with customers will enable building a long-term relationship with them aswell. A prospective customer will go with the company who gives a detailed explanation of the goods and services provided to them rather than with someone who just states the name of the products and the services they provide. Customers prefer not to be kept in dark about the products they are putting their money in. Companies should actively engage the customers with them; this will make them trust the company. Once the trust is established it is highly unlikely that they will look out for another dealer. This will also make the customer comfortable in sharing the feedback of the products which will aid in the improvement of the products and services provided. It’s a win-win situation for all.

In our personal life as well; we would like to be with a person who has nothing to hide. If we know that the person is withholding information time and again; we would always be suspicious of that person’s word. The credibility of the person is lost. Here also the trust factor gets affected adversely. In most of the families, children are not encouraged to participate in the financial matters of the family; parents try to protect them, as they feel they are not mature enough to understand these things. But, on the contrary, it is advisable that parents should be transparent with children about finances and should involve them in the discussion, this will help them to understand why parents say ‘no’ to certain things without much explanation. This will also make them more responsible in their spending habits as they grow up.

If you follow transparency then there is no need for any hidden agendas. But as Mr. Stephen M. R. Covey said in his book The Speed of Trust “to negotiate with transparency does not mean you always have to lay all our cards on the table. But it does mean that you are transparent with appropriate information and with what you’re trying to accomplish”.