The power of communicating openly and transparently

Last week, I realised how glad and lucky I am to have a team that communicates openly and transparently on a daily basis, as it proved to me how effective it can be.

 

Core values

A lot of companies have core values printed on paper somewhere in an office. Very few of them, however, are actually creating a company culture built around these core values. Writing them is one step, but applying them is the most difficult step and is therefore often neglected.

When we jumped on this Transformactive adventure almost a year ago, one of the first thing we worked on were the core values of Transformactive which are built around trust. Our first aim was to make sure we respected and followed these values daily. It took several months to define them all, and it took additional months to apply them, and one of the first which we defined was the ‘open and transparent communication’ core value.

 

When open communication helps to uncover a fear

Last week, we had some important meetings about matters that will have an impact on our long-term vision and we weren’t all aligned. That’s ok, that’s even good, because it leads to debate that enriches the discussion. However, debating was not working. Arguments were used that weren’t making sense, which doesn’t happen often in our team.

That’s when I decided that we had to dig further, and to change the discussion from the meeting’s topic to something broader: We shared our current (global or specific) impressions, feelings and eventual fears. I realised that there was indeed a fear, and some global misunderstanding that led – without any causal relation – to the misalignment on the meeting’s topic. Talking openly and transparently about these aspects helped us in managing the fear, and removing the misunderstandings.

If the team had not clearly communicated their feelings, the misunderstandings would have stayed and a sense of “unfairness” would have grown in the persons’ mind. If not handled well, it could have led to frustrations and therefore to a loss of motivation, efficiency and trust.

 

Communicate to understand someone else’s point of view

Everyone has his or her own glasses that he or she is using to look at and interpret the reality. However, without sharing the specifics of the glasses you are using, the reality can be interpreted completely differently by someone else. It is thus very important to dare to be open and transparent, even if we think that it could hurt someone, because at the end, if you do it constructively, the person will only respect you more.

 

My message for the week is to work on communication. That’s a very important aspect in every relation, professional or personal. Sometimes, communicating openly and transparently seems not the right thing to do, or just too difficult to do, but at the end, it’s for everyone’s best interest. The more difficult it is for you to communicate, the more the other person will appreciate your effort. That’s the power of communication.

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