Friday, July 25, 2014

Straight Talk

My sons worked for an organization that values "Straight Talk."

At that organization, the employees meet regularly to address the mission and work with "Straight Talk" protocols and routines. My sons would come home and discuss the productive talks that led to team and growth.

Recently I read a number of sad stories in the newspaper of individuals accused of wrongdoing.

I wondered if these situations would have occurred if there had been an expectation and practice of straight talk. I wondered if these situations occurred because people didn't speak up or confront the issues when they first started.

Also, in my own world, there were a couple of statements made to me last year that were vague and seemingly negative. In one case, I asked for clarification and received none, and in the other case, I was afraid to ask for clarification so I am still confused about the statement. I'm curious what the people meant by what they said, and it seems like they may think I understand their words when I actually don't. Neither statement was that critical or big, but nevertheless the statements stayed with me so they were not that small either.

So, as I think about straight talk today, I realize that it's best to confront issues while they are small, to speak up and ask questions before matters become big. Often the greatest issues occur because we don't make the time to understand each other, clarify situations, and ask questions when needed.

Similarly, we need to use straight talk with our students too. It's best to confront issues and questions with respect and care when they are small. This is a good way to help children grow and understand. If we wait until issues are big, we run the risk of creating issues that are less manageable or repairable.

Do you practice straight talk in your organizations? If so, what protocols and routines lead your efforts. This is an area of work and home life, I want to consider more.