Sunflower or Mushroom?

Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility. ~Robin Morgan

Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Transparency? | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

Red_sunflowerIn short, the answer is “yes,” in my opinion. When people have too much information about situations which impact them personally but over which they have no effective control, too much transparency nearly always equals elevated anxiety and stress as John Coleman points out.

I would add a caveat. Transparency is not always helpful but open, timely, effective communication is always helpful. It may not be wise to ‘spill the beans’ so to speak when making hard decisions, nor to make those without decision-making influence a part of the process. However… just as too much transparency is a bad idea, so is too little. 

There is as much anxiety (often with the addition of anger) when people feel they aremushroom (1) being kept “in the dark” with regard to events which affect them. The human tendency is to catastrophize – imagine the worst possible outcome, and then to personalize the impact of this catastrophe. This produces anxiety, agitation, and eventually anger-driven action. The action is predicated on the mythology of the worst-case-scenario and the result is often mob anarchy.  In today’s world of social media making myths, half-truths, and misunderstandings viral, the outcome is usually negative.

There’s a definite skill to managing the balance between too much transparency and too little and every person responsible for leading even one other needs to learn it.

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