The Power of Transparency: Replacing Fear with Trust in Relationships
Unearth the profound impact of transparency in relationships and how it far surpasses patterns of using fear and control. Transparency fosters trust, deeper connections, and can dramatically reduce stress.
The Problem with Fear-Based Communication
I ask everyone I work with whether they actually like the stress and tension of trying to control others, of finding ways to bring about enough fear in people in hope of getting their needs met.
Not one of them has turned to me and said, “Ah, yes, that IS what I wake up in the morning for.” It’s a miserable way to engage in relationships.
Yet so many of us have done this over the course of our lives. Mostly because we didn’t know how else to get our needs met. And likely were unaware we were even doing it. This is how we learned to operate while growing up.
But there are better ways of showing up that not only build greater connections, but also feel better to us.
Significantly increasing everyone’s sense of trust and safety allows us all to have greater ease. Let’s take a look at what it’s like to be highly functional in our transparency.
The Detrimental Impact of Fear on Relationships
When we attempt to instill fear in others in hope of getting the to either give us what we want or be how we want them to be, we shoot ourselves in the foot. When people feel fear, a lot of their physical, mental, and emotional time and energy goes into trying to “survive” the experience.
That’s not very connecting, is it. As I’ll say again, we may end up getting what we want, but is this really how we want to live? Behaving in this way drives stress and increases tension in relationships.
The Disconnecting, Destructive Energy of Fear
I do want to note that IF you do attempt to leverage fear in this way, it’s worth exploring what’s driving that in you. Most often, it’s an attempt to relieve pressure we’re feeling.
And underneath that feeling of pressure — is most often fear. Or an unmet need. But there are better, much more mature and evolved ways of dealing with fear and getting our needs met. Ways that aren’t destructive to ourselves or others.
Benefits of Being Transparent
Living transparently requires us to communicate openly and authentically about what’s going on for us in our lives or in our relationships.
We’re up front with what’s going on and share where we’re at. It’s actually a relief to be this open. And once you get past the fear of being too vulnerable, it’s quite liberating.
People feel good with those who are transparent, in part, because this way of being builds trust in relationships and people just feel more at ease around us. Because it’s real, people feel a greater sense of connection and inclusivity.
This inspires them to be more transparent with us and others, to be more collaborative. In work environments, it leads to better communication, better morale, better solutions, better performance, better production, and a better bottom line.
And this is all without using fear to get what we want or get others to do what we want them to do or be how we want them to be. As you can see, this all distills down to getting what we want regardless of what’s best for anyone else.
Cultivating a Fear-Free Zone
Free of engaging in fear-based manipulative behaviors, we can establish a space where people feel safe enough to question us and offer perspectives we may not have seen.
To do this well, it is imperative for us to be able to vulnerably listen to and learn from criticism offered, which helps people to feel heard and valued.
But to successfully deal with our fear-based feelings of being judged, we need a certain level of healthy self-assuredness so that when we do receive negative feedback, we can really listen — not self-defend or make others wrong or duck and run for cover.
Self-Awareness: Absolutely Essential for Transparency
To powerfully bring transparency into our lives, we need to raise our self-awareness about whether we are using fear to manipulate others. And awareness puts us better in touch with our intuition, which can alert us if we’re acting out of alignment in some way.
If we receive input and start to feel defensive, self-awareness can facilitate our being better able to deal with our self-protective feelings so that we can remain in a receptive, listening mode. This helps others feel that it’s safe to share, and as a result, their sense of trust in the relationship grows further.
Alignment and Accountability in a Transparent Life
Self-awareness would also help us to see if we’ve acted out of alignment with our values. If we proactively own our errors, unkind things we’ve said, inappropriate behaviors, we can do our utmost to clean up any mess we’ve made with those we’ve impacted. We would not wait until we’re under duress or in fear of being outed.
The Future of Leadership Is Transparency
Transparency is foundational to a higher quality relationships. We feel and function better, our relationships flourish, we experience much lower stress, and a greater sense of connection.
Why wouldn’t every one of us embrace transparency?
Would you like to be more present, feel more alive and connected, with a greater sense of inner peace?
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