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From My Pad to Yours. . . 

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A Blog by Art Dykstra


From My Pad to Yours is about leadership and other topics, and is written by Art Dykstra, Director of the Trinity Consulting Group.

Honest and Open Communication

by Art Dykstra | Aug 16, 2017

Do you know that what we do is messy? Did you ever notice that what we set out to do each morning doesn’t get done? Michael Carroll has made the observation that “work by its nature will always be uncertain.”

So, if you would agree that our days are filled with interruptions, unexpected demands, hurting employees and sometimes six-inch snow falls, wouldn’t you also agree that how we communicate with one another is extremely important?

It’s my contention that people have problems communicating openly and clearly if they themselves are not open. When people are open, they are mindful, they are in the present. They’re noticing the right things including the nature of their actions and interactions. This openness sets the stage for productive communication. Great communication occurs when people feel listened to, not just talked to. Smoothly functioning organizations encourage and foster four-way communication:

  • From managers to employees
  • From employees to managers
  • From managers to managers
  • From employees to employees

In organizations that communicate well, management informs staff fully about numbers, finances and other necessary information, as well as the stories behind any purposed changes. At Trinity, for instance, our leadership group meets every week. In this forum, we share information, make plans, review key performance indicators, follow up on loose ends and, generally speaking, joke and laugh a lot. 

In organizations that function and communicate well, people feel connected and a part of the team because they know what’s going on. They know that “yes” means “yes and “no” means “no.” Both leaders and employees avoid reinforcing rumors and frown on gossip. They feel respected because they know the “why” of things and receive feedback in a timely fashion and appropriate ways. Why? So they know how they are doing, what to correct and what to do more of – and so they feel valued.

In openly communicating organizations, trust and honesty are apparent. Honesty assures that everything is above board and that there are no hidden agendas. Staff know that consequences match performance and that what is communicated verbally or in writing is followed by action whether positive or negative. This creates a trust between coworkers that allows them to speak up and disagree without fear of punishment. Furthermore, there is no great need to close doors; staff and clients can see who they are and where they are.

NOTE: This is Part 3 of a 10-part series on Trinity's Core Values.
To read Part 1 on Servant Leadership, click here.
To read Part 2 on Serving and Supporting, click here.

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