The Micro Actions of Love: Practicing Transparency

“WE HAVE TO DEBRIEF!” – Carolyn.

I read the text message on a Sunday evening after one of my closest friends, Carolyn, closed out her time at a very important weekend conference. She had been anxious about this conference for weeks, so I was relieved to hear from her husband earlier that day that it went really well for her. Then her ALL CAPS text reinforced the great news. But my happiness for her was quickly muted by my Sunday night mental to-do list. I had a ton of things to juggle Monday before leaving town on Tuesday for work. I told myself I barely had time to get it all in. I’ll have a quick phone call with Caro and then touch base over the weekend.

“I can’t wait to hear! Can we talk on the phone after drop-off to get the conversation started?”

Her quick response: “Yes!”

I woke up Monday morning ready to tackle my busy week. When I looked at my texts and saw another text from Carolyn:

“I think I’ll wait to download in person bc . . . bc . . . it’s so good and I want to be with you in person!’.

The lightbulbs flicked on in my brain. I knew how important the conference was to her because she had told me it was. And now I knew how important it was to her that we debrief together in-person, because she told me it was. So, with Carolyn’s transparency, I had the opportunity to reset my choices for the morning. I chose to go straight over to her house after school drop off (skipping my workout!) to spend an hour with her before my crazy week even began. That was my choice to “give” and I “got” way more back because of it.

For a full hour, I sat captivated on the edge of her comfy ‘tea-time’ chair as she relayed every possible amazing detail of her experience with me. I was riveted by her story and pride, her excitement and facial expressions, and even her breaths. I wanted every single bit of what she wanted to share with me, in person, the morning after she got back from her conference. There was nowhere I would have rather been than in her family room, celebrating with her.

I hope you have a good friend that is comfortable living out transparency with you. I would have missed out on a wonderful hour that brought us closer together as friends, and deepened our relationship. And she would have missed out on getting to see my smiles, my “tell me more” eyes, and hugs as she shared with me. I’m so glad she told me what she needed and wanted at that moment.

An Example of Choosing Love: Practicing Transparency

I host workshops around the country and get to hear how giving and receiving love shows up in real life for different people, in different settings, during different times. Being transparent is an example that comes up often.

So what does transparency – those micro actions of giving and receiving love – look like in real life? Here are a few examples I’ve heard from workshop participants:

  • Telling someone what you want and need in the moment, just like my friend Carolyn did.
  • Sharing something about yourself that the other person may not know. (This doesn’t have to be a deep dark secret! It could simply be that you have an adopted sibling or your favorite pet is your Australian Shepherd rescue.)
  • Answering the tough questions in a meeting when no one else wants to.
  • Being yourself in every situation, instead of trying to be someone you think others want you to be.
  • Respectfully letting someone know your feelings, instead of putting on a fake face.

These are just a few examples out of thousands. What would you add to the list?

Practicing Transparency While Respecting Boundaries

When I was growing up, I learned to be a chameleon; not transparent. I benefited from blending in and not exposing my true self to others. This chameleon-ability was a gift (or so I thought) and I treasured it into my early adulthood. I’ve now learned the benefit of being transparent – and I do so often.

Throughout my journey of practicing transparency, I’ve heard this question time and time again: When is it appropriate to hold back? When should I share more?

Being transparent doesn’t mean you have to share everything all the time with every person you meet. You can choose NOT to share everything or even choose NOT to share something. When you DO choose to share, being transparent means that you are honest, respectful, and forthcoming. You aren’t sugar coating. You aren’t playing something down. Loving honestly is shining through.

A great example is Carolyn’s text I received that Monday morning:

“I think I’ll wait to download in person bc . . . bc . . . it’s so good and I want to be with you in person!“.

When she expressed what she needed and wanted from me, she did it in a way that respected my boundaries. She knew I was juggling . . . work travel, home stuff, and my mom was in town! The way in which she was transparent honored my space and boundaries. She didn’t say, “hey drop everything or you aren’t a great friend.”

Boundaries are healthy, and essential, in both personal and professional relationships and settings. Set those boundaries. Communicate them clearly and respectfully. Practicing transparency, as a micro action of love, within those boundaries will set you up for success.

What You Stand To Gain, What you Stand To Lose

By practicing transparency, you are choosing to give and receive love, and create belonging. You are opening yourself up to experience someone else’s joy and learn something about someone else.

If you choose to not be transparent, you lose the chance to grow as a person, as a friend, a partner, a coworker…the list goes on and on.

What might you gain by choosing transparency? What might you lose by not choosing transparency?

Let Trish Kendall Inspire Your Team Towards Transparency

Transparency takes courage and bravery. Trish can inspire your team to embrace transparency and belonging in the workplace by choosing love.

85% of American consumers say they are more likely to stick with a transparent brand during a crisis or give it a second chance after a bad experience. Is your team building that type of loyalty through transparency in their business relationships, with one another? Book Trish Kendall to motivate and inspire your team to make transparency an active choice in their day-to-day roles in your business.

“True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” – Brene Brown


About Trish Kendall

As an expert on achieving enduring success and transforming the audience to see themselves in a different light, inspirational speaker, Trish Kendall brings candid stories, humor in the face of true hardship, simple lessons, compassion and love to all her speaking engagements. Follow her on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook and sign up for her newsletter for regular inspiration and wisdom regarding community building, belonging, choosing love, and enduring success.

If you’re ready to book Trish as your next keynote speaker or if you want to learn more about her story and her message, please reach out.


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