Information is power… you can almost guarantee if you read or listen to any leadership spokesman you will hear them talk about it. I have been in situations where I have been given information freely and information as been withheld. Honestly there are times I find information helpful and there are times I wish I knew nothing. Either way I have responsibility to deal properly with it.
We all love open communication… what does that mean? To help clarify here are a couple of interesting things to consider.
Definitions of open and communication according to “Google”
- Open: “allowing access, passage, or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked up”
- Communication: “the imparting or exchanging of information or news”
Roger’s combined definition of open communication:
- “Providing all accessible information in a truthful, unbiased, timely fashion to any vested or interested parties”
To Share or not to share that is the question?
Share – If you are in leadership and serving others you must share these type of things often with clarity and conviction.
- Useful Information
Not to Share
- Confidential – only those who must know to respond to the need.
- Useless – no one has time for useless information and no one wants to hear someone talk just to talk, or read an endless email just to read.
- Gossip – it violates Biblical mandates – don’t do it!
Here are the dangers we must avoid
- Holding Back – if it matches the share list – share it… the only one loosing is you! If they don’t understand and don’t have the information they need they can never be successful.
- Failure to communicate – We cannot use the excuse of time, energy or tools – bottom line as a leader you make the time, find the energy and allocate the resources to acquire the tools.
- Lack of Trust – if you cannot trust the team/individual to communicate openly with then you either have a trust problem or they do… you know which it is and only you can fix it.
- They can’t handle it – are you sure they can’t handle it or are you the one who can’t handle the open communication? Either way it also must be fixed.
- Afraid of the outcome – I have a good friend Bob who has been in business longer then I have been alive and he always tells me “when making a decision not everyone will agree with my decision, but it is my job to help them understand why the decision was made” I can’t be afraid of the outcome – I must communicate the outcome regardless of the outcome.
Don’t fall into the trap of being the one who is known for holding things to your vest… openly communicate!
What have you found to be effective in open communication?