Talk Openly and Candidly!

Phew!!! Where did the last month go!  Well I have thought a lot about the next blog and have learned a few things over the last month!  What I have learned can be summed up into this quote, “A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contributions to praise the skills of others.” – Norman Shindle

Now, I would have to admit that this is one area that I am learning and I feel is an ever revolving door!  But what  a fun door it is!

Over the last many years, I have participated in many sports ranging from baseball to soccer, football to basketball, volleyball to racquetball.  In my participation in each sport there was always a set of GUIDELINES as to how the game is played and what tasks need to be accomplished throughout the allotted time in order to determine a winning team.  Now imagine competing in one of these athletic contests without these GUIDELINES.  How about competing in these sports without a clock that dictates time, score and/or a playbook?  Now imagine competing in these same events without a clear tactical plan and timely communication!  What would any of these sporting events look like? UTTER CHAOS!  BUT, you know what amazes me, is how often I see people trying to run a business with teams, no different than a sporting event, that are in utter chaos because of the breakdown of communication, lack of candid feedback, and backbiting.  Why does this happen?  Because teams do not establish a culture of communicating openly and candidly!

 

Unless you as a leader of your team, organization, etc. realizes the power of establishing a team that can communicate openly and candidly it will be a long tough road.  What you have to realize as a leader is that candid feedback will always come full circle for the long term benefit of any group or organization.  Feedback can be verbal or visual to be effective, but never underestimate the power of “self-discovery”.  Creating a system of communication catered towards helping the team converse openly is crucial.  This can be done by properly presenting information to the team that can be beneficial to the group as a whole!

Think about this… High performing teams are EMPOWERED TEAMS and INFORMATION is a source of GREAT POWER!  I might further add that the common saying, “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER” is somewhat incorrect.  My version of this saying goes as follows, “THE APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE IS POWER”.  I realize that some may disagree with me and that is perfectly okay with me.  If you do, let me ask you a simple question.  Have you ever seen someone become the most effective person by reading a book?  The answer will always be NO.  Reading is the activity, applying the concepts and learning from the book is how that specific person becomes effective.  So how does this break down for teams?  Well, we can sit and educate our teams all day long with information (which is absolutely critical to the teams success), but if we do not put people into ACTION we will never move lives forward.

So!  Go talk openly and candidly so that others do not stand in their own way when it comes to being offended.  The offended person will always find an excuse so they do not have to take ACTION!  Clear up the air so that others do not have a reason to sit stagnant!

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