Effective communication in difficult situations takes energy, compassion, honesty, courage and genuine concern for others. When we communicate well, we are “Reaching” and building bridges with others. Typical barriers include; ego, self-interest, overly concerned with other's opinions, business at all costs, fear, intimidation, insensitivity, unconscious behavior, lack of time, and impatience among others.
R. E. A. C. H.
This seems like common sense right? Well, surprisingly, some of the most highly placed people in an organization have difficulty balancing these five principles in communication. This can create a “sick” culture that can impact the bottom line as well as employee retention.
When driven by instincts, most people fall into one side of REACH. They are respectful and empathetic, but lack courage to communicate the truth. Or, perhaps they are very courageous and honest, but lack respect and empathy for others in their communication.
A Model for Self-Examination.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you experienced a communication that was empathetic, respectful, but not honest? How did you feel about the person delivering it?
- Have you experienced a communication that was honest, courageous, but lacked empathy or respect? How did you feel about the person delivering it?
- What do you tend to lean toward more in your communications?
- What impact does this have on your effectiveness?
- The level of trust your customers/colleagues have for you?
- Which is most difficult for you to REACH? (Customers, Superiors, Colleagues) Why?