|Posted on July 13, 2015 at 8:00 AM|
To continue about chunking down to our core emotional response for effective communications, let me refresh you on what chunk communication means:
C = Clear/Concise
H = Honest
U = Uninhibited
N = Natural/Normal
K = Kind
Last week, we learned that clear and concise entails accuracy and details. Also needed for effective communication is Honesty. Honesty is the best policy, isn’t it? But what does honesty truly entail?
Honesty is about being HONORABLE in intentions and actions. In this case, we are focused on the words you are using. Are they honorable?
How often do we hear, “Well, the truth hurts, doesn’t it?” And while hearing the truth may be difficult at times; other times words can cut so deep that they cause a person to bleed out emotionally and can cause permanent damage to the psyche.
If you are striving for effective communication, this would not be a practical or even a kind choice. But we will discuss kindness later.
I was teaching a class of professionals that work with children, that included people that worked in the prison system and probation officers. One gentleman kept giving looks of malcontent and was squirming in his seat while I continued on with my sharing of the process. Finally, he couldn’t stand it any more and he even actually stood up to ask his question.
“So you are telling me, that to follow your process, I am supposed to call up this 17 year old punk who is giving me all kinds of problems and say to him, Now boy, you know I care about you and you just can’t keep on missing curefew. I am worried about you!”
He then sat down and seemed quite pleased with himself. Without hesistation, I spoke to him. “No, I would never suggest you say something like that to one of the boys you have on your case load.”
“Why wouldn’t I say that?”
“Because I never once have told this class to lie and that is actually what you would be doing. It is completely obvious that you truly don’t care about this boy and actually find him to be a pain in your tuckus. I know it, this class knows it and the boy surely knows it. And if you lie, you have lost all integrity with him that you might possibly have.”
There was shocked silence in the room. One lady then asked me, “What could he say that would be honest and still allow him to do his job?”
Her is my response: “Look, we don’t have a great relationship. We bump heads all the time. I am your probation officer and I have a job. If you want to stay out of trouble and change the direction of your life, you have a job as well and that makes us have a common goal. So that means you have to be in before your curefew. If you fail to do you job, then I have to still do mine, which is write a report and send it to the judge who will then revoke your probation. So with that understanding on the table, we don’t have to like one another but we at least know how to work together and what is expected and the possible results.”
I then turned to the gentleman and said to him, “You exhibited a lot fo frustration and disrespect in your initial question. If you feel that way more than 30% of the time while working or thinking about work, you would serve yourself better to either get some coaching or consider a career change. You are hurting yourself by not making some kind of shift.”
For some reason, these comments found favor with the class and I got a standing ovation from the group.
What I effectively told the man was that he was really bad at his job probably. I told him in such a way that it was honest, and concise AND it was also KIND. Kind will be discussed later in this blog.