My savvy daughter pointed me to this article regarding communication. The author, David Murray, makes the point that we communicate in many ways beyond words: facial expressions, reactions, silence as well as responses, patterns of absence as well as presence.
He asserts that, “people come to know everything they need to know about their family, their friends, and yes, even their company.”
After offering a personal example, the author goes on to extrapolate these covert communications in the workplace:
. . . a friend knows when he’s second-fiddle, a colleague knows a real compliment from a political kudos, a direct report knows you know when he’s slacking, a boss knows if you think she’s dumb, and eventually, the whole of the employee population knows whether management is in touch or out of touch, sympathetic or downright creepy.
As someone looking for employment, but more importantly, someone who values genuineness and authenticity, this speaks volumes to me. Give me an employer who values honesty and openness versus subterfuge and political games in the workplace any day.
Here’s a quote from the movie, “As Good As It Gets”, that comes to mind regarding insincere communication: “… Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.”
And here’s my favorite sentence from Murray’s article:
“It is why sincere, thoughtful communication—no matter how provocative—is usually a comfort and often a relief from the constant tension of knowledge without permission to acknowledge.”
His premise is that we are the recipients of constant, authentic communication. Are we ready to receive it? Are we prepared to acknowledge it?
In my humble opinion, this is an important and yes, provocative issue for the workplace. How much honesty are we prepared to handle?