Jeremy Pettitt on Communication and Culture

Transparency in Small Groups

Posted on October 05, 2020

The third Facet of Healthy Small Groups is Transparency.

Transparency refers to the quality or ability to be open, honest, authentic and candid, usually due to an environment of trust and support.

As small group members begin to trust one another, their transparency with one another begins to grow.

At first, they will share their successes and strengths with each other.

But as trust and transparency develop further, the members of the group will begin sharing their failures and weaknesses as well.

You will know your group is making progress when,,,

1. People begin to open up about their struggles, failures and weaknesses

2. People challenge the ideas and goals with which they disagree.

Transparency is one of the most valuable things about a small group because humans need spaces where we can share openly, honestly, and authentically. Deep down, each one of us longs to be known by others who care for and support us.

However, there are Two Dangers with Transparency in Small Groups:

1. We think we have achieved transparency as a destination at which we have arrived.

Trust and transparency must be fostered and maintained over time in order to ensure ongoing transparency within the group. It is a journey, not a destination.

2. We assume that every person in our group is at the same level of trust and transparency at any given time.

Just because one person experiences a strong level of trust does not mean that every other person is having the same experience at any given time.

In the end, the level of transparency of the small group directly correlates with the level of trust of each of its members.

UP NEXT: Empathy in Small Groups

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