Remote working and social distancing can lessen effective communications between individuals and groups. Recently, I heard that a few employees felt that I was not listening to their concerns. Many of us, myself included, may have deficits in listening to and understanding another position and its needs. It is something I continually work on improving.
In the case in question, no one said anything to me about their concerns. I understand that talking with the CEO or other management may be daunting for some. To challenge what you perceive as management’s position may be even more problematic. However, I encourage well-reasoned positions that may be counter to my own. Likewise, our staff should expect that management’s positions are well reasoned and based upon fact. In either case, the party who has a concern must say something for listening and effective communication to occur. The most desirable result is mutual agreement. Minimally, each party should feel listened to and understood.
As I mentioned in previous blogs, far too often, people raise their concerns with others who either have no role or only a very peripheral role in a situation. Often the only result is that the person who fails to communicate directly falls into the role of a victim. They miss the opportunity to resolve issues effectively. Eventually, some information might trickle to the intended party. Often this information is significantly distorted or even totally inaccurate. Gossip and negativity are the unfortunate results. Rather than solving a problem, this indirect approach only creates more problems.
So how does telepathy play a role in all of this? The answer is that it does not. There is no good substitute for direct and courteous communication. The more direct, precise, and kind the communication, the better the outcome. It is easy to assume, especially with those you may have worked with for many years, that everything is fully understood by all parties involved. This is often the case, but a lack of discipline in effectively communicating and validating understanding can lead to unintended results. Clarity is always preferable. This is an ongoing challenge that is more than worth the efforts involved.