Communicate to Avoid the “Silence Spiral”

Lee Colan from writes about something called the silence spiral.

According to Colan, leaders underestimate what teammates want to know and need to know. Oftentimes, not communicating that information creates the following spiral:

Silence > Doubt > Fear > Panic > Worst-Case Thinking

In other words, if we are silent about how the company is doing and what it is doing, our team is likely to become doubtful or fearful and “make up” a worst-case scenario.

One of the characteristics I trumpet of a PalletOne leader is that he/she communicates continuously, transparently and courageously.

As a leader, you can never think that you have achieved all you could.

We can never underestimate the power of truthful, full communication of facts.

We can’t be shy about talking about “difficult” topics like shortcomings and problems if we really want to be great.

The alternative is to have an organization that nobody trusts. Lack of trust is a recipe for disaster.

So, I pledge this: Don’t hesitate to call if you have questions or concerns. Call me. Call your boss. Call anyone who you think you can ask.

No one ever did a worse job because they had too much information. Let’s keep working on making our communication complete.

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PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
PalletOne Inc.
Company President, Howe Q. Wallace

Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.


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