Posted by Howe Q. Wallace on Monday, July 15th, 2019
How can communication improve on your team? We can bring “courage” to the front more often.
At any given point in time, if you pinpoint the issues that may need to be addressed to improve things, there is usually more unsaid or avoided then is said.
I heard a pastor Andy Stanley address the topic recently:
He said when we perceive a need for change, their usually resides a difference of strategy or opinion. To suggest that we change what is being done to go in a different direction or down a different path comes with some risk.
A change often suggests the current status is wrong. A change suggests something is being missed. A change suggests someone’s education and knowledge has fallen short. A change can turn “personal”.
Those kinds of risks cause fear and apprehension. We don’t want to disrupt things by making it personal, so we tend to leave it alone.
Here’s the deal though “problems don’t age well”. Left unattended they get worse. Small fixes become large fixes. We are better when we address things early.
Courageous communication is not easy. It’s why we call it courageous.
The best teams decide in advance to value courageous communication. They make that commitment before the heat is on.
“Courageous communication” becomes a safe phrase. You introduce it when you see the need is necessary.
For those on the team who hear it raised, a mindset is adopted. You respect the communicator because they are taking the risk. They are trusting the process. They are honoring the commitment to say something as they see something.
We decide in advance we will battle the defensiveness that rises within us and replace it with listening and openness.
Courageous communication works best when it is used frequently. Teams make it possible when we make it a safe place to share in humility and maturity.