Open and Honest Communication

I realize that the title of this blog is almost a leadership cliché, but I would like to share some thoughts about the importance of the concept.

Has the thought occurred to you as leaders that what we do is messy? In fact, what we often set out to do each morning doesn’t even 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 as leaders are filled with interruptions, unexpected demands, hurting employees, and sometimes 6” snowfalls, wouldn’t you also agree that it is extremely important how we communicate with one another?

The fact is that the careers of many individuals have shipwrecked because they were poor communicators. It is my contention that people have problems communicating openly and clearly when they themselves are not open. When we are open, we are mindful and in the present. We are noticing the right things at the right time, including the nature of our actions and our interactions.

And this takes us to the business of communication. Great communication occurs when people are listened to, not just talked to. In organizations that function well, there is excellent four-way communication:

  1. From leaders to employees
  2. From employees to leaders
  3. From leaders to leaders
  4. From employees to employees.

In these organizations, staff are fully informed not only about what’s going on in the organization in terms of events and direction, but also about numbers that make a difference. Communication is even better when the stories behind the information and numbers are shared. People feel connected and part of the team when they know what’s going on. When staff are respected, they are told the “why” of things.

In openly communicating organizations, trust is apparent and so is honesty. There is no great need to hide behind closed doors—we can be who we are where we are.




Proverbs 14:21 (NIV)

It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor,
but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.



Can't Not Do

Win in the Dark

Joshua Medcalf & Lucas Jadin (Bowker, 2020) 

This month’s reading, Win in the Dark, comes by way of a gift from my grandson, Griffin, who is both a student and a college athlete. The book written by Joshua Medcalf and Lucas Jadin is highly recommended.

In just 150 pages, the authors manage to address many of life’s struggles and the challenges that we all face on a daily basis. They do an excellent job of sharing insights and strategies for dealing with the mental “demons and barriers that must be battled in the dark.”

“The dark is the unseen hours of gut-wrenching, tedious work. The dark is where you confront fear, hesitation, and self-doubt. The dark is where you give your everything without knowing if your everything will be enough.”

I would suggest sharing this book with the young people in your life, from junior high to college age and especially those who are involved in competitive events or sports. It’s a story that affords readers many valuable insights in the dialogue between a young man and his grandpa. For instance:

  • How to battle the demons of doubt
  • The twin thieves of fear of failure and fear of judgment
  • The importance of courageous love
  • The need to remember that “we can do hard things.”

I especially appreciated the notion of a “crap sandwich” that Grandpa Marco shares with Niko. He says, “Everything worth doing well, any dream worth having, comes with its fair share of crap sandwiches. You can’t avoid them all. Pursuing your passion means deciding which flavor of crap sandwich you are most willing to put up with. It’s a lie to believe that you will love what you are doing one hundred percent of the time.”

And finally, here is a thought we can carry with us throughout each day:

“I learned that all you can do is give your best. And your best might not be same from one day to the next. Some days you may only have 30% in your tank, but you gotta learn how to give 100% of the 30%. You train to give it your all, no matter how much that might be on a given day.”

I truly wish I could have read this book when I was a young athlete.

If you are curious about curiosity this book is for you.

Purchase this and other recommended books at amazon, your local bookstore or through CherryHillHighTide.com bookstore.

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