We’ve all heard the word before: transparency. Whether you love it or hate it, it is an integral part of personal connection. Without transparency, we are not able to build trust, share story details and embrace emotion.

Let’s take a look at ways we can be more transparent to make for better personal connection.

Honesty

You’ve heard the saying, “honesty is the best policy.” And it couldn’t be further from the truth. Especially in business, clients and coworkers expect you to be honest with them. When we look at the definition of honesty, many words pop up such as “fairness,” “straightforward,” and “loyalty.” What we can interpret this as is that honesty leads to loyalty, which in turn means faithfulness without questioning. Honest people are loyal and consistent with the truth. When you encounter an honest person, you can pretty much guarantee that you will get the same, straightforward answer each time. As a business owner, you want that from the people you encounter.

Honesty is also a powerful tool when it comes to building credibility. When you come off as honest, people are more likely to go recognize that and attribute it to your character. That being said, you will also get a reputation for being a wholesome, trustworthy person, which will result in more business opportunities. Honest, credible people often times become someone’s go-to subject matter expert, whether in the company or with a client. If a client knows you to be honest, they will go to you first with their needs instead of others because you have built that reputation with that. In the long run, being honest is being transparent, which helps you establish trust with others.

Vulnerability

Once we have established a line of trust through honesty, we can allow ourselves to be more intimate and vulnerable. Now, we’re not talking romantically (though it could work for that too). Intimacy is part of relationship building and establishing a personal connection with others. When we feel comfortable and trust others, we are able to confide in them. A good way to open this line of communication is to find a mentor that you can put your trust in. This is a good step in helping you feel more vulnerable and have an intimate relationship with someone at the career level. Mentors are great people to help you guide through your highs and lows at work, and assist you in guiding career moves. Even if you are not ready to be vulnerable and intimate with your coworkers or your boss, a mentor is a great place to start.

Vulnerability and intimacy is a great way to share details about yourself with another person to get to know them better. Through even just a quick conversation, you can find so many commonalities if you just open up about your interests, likes, and dislikes. This can help others see you from a whole different perspective while giving you more confidence to share details about yourself. It’s not an easy thing to do by any means, but challenge yourself to find one person you can confide in. Once you feel comfortable, you can start feeling comfortable with trusting others.

Authenticity

We all remember when we were younger and wanted to do everything we could to fit in — even if it meant sacrificing who we were. One of the biggest favors you can do for yourself is to be authentic. Both professionally and personally. Don’t show a different person at work than you are in real life. Doing this will have people perceive you as a “fake” or having a “two-sided personality”. You’re probably wondering how to bridge the gap between the personal and profession in a way that will do you justice. Some advice: don’t be afraid to blend the two together! Often times, what you’ve gone through in your personal life has significantly contributed to the success in your professional life. And it makes you a more interesting person too. This is all part of your personal brand, something you shouldn’t be afraid to show the world.

Through authenticity, you can embrace emotion and show the world your true colors. You can share with everyone what makes you unique and differentiate you from the rest. In the simplest terms, authenticity is being transparent about your personality. You can do this in a variety of ways, whether it is how you set up your profile on LinkedIn to the type of content you retweet on Twitter. All of these actions give others a sense of who you are. Often times, it works in your advantage, especially during the hiring process. No one wants another candidate with the same boring jargon. Employers don’t want the “seasoned 10-year veteran” or the “tenured salesperson”. They want the “wine enthusiast”, “curious globetrotter” and “avid climber”.

Conclusion

So make it a goal for yourself to be more transparent with your interactions with people this year. Through transparency, you can better your personal connections, while revealing new opportunities you never realized that you could have. Above all, you can become more in tune with who you are and who you want to be in the future.

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