The American football huddle was invented at a university for the deaf to keep the opposing team from seeing their hand signs. While you can impress your friends during a Super Bowl party by knowing the history of the game and the invention of the huddle, you might make the wrong impression at work when you keep things confidential from your team members.
Ask yourself, “Would there be a there a good reason not to share this information with my teammates?” Sharing both good and bad information can be empowering to the people you rely on to get results. Open communication can build trust, create feelings of ownership, surface concerns faster and breed useful feedback.
What kinds of matters do people want to hear about before they are rolled out as absolutes?
- Performance feedback
- The big picture – is the organization going in a new direction?
- Results, especially when their implementation was contributed
- Impending changes
- What’s going on in our industry or profession?
- What’s being discussed in the executive meetings?
- Things that are going to impact their employment
Lean toward transparency. You obviously make the call whether information gets shared. But remember, it’s easier to win when your employees don’t feel like they are on the competing team.
There is a link between communication and productivity. When a leader shares information that impacts his or her employees, productivity will improve. Communications increase the trust between the levels of leadership. Supportive verbal communication relates positively to individual’s perceptions of management’s support and connectivity. Recognized support creates trust in the relationships with the management level and flows throughout the organization.
The link between productivity and communication is tied to an organizations information. The practical benefit occurs when lines of communication are opened, conversations materializes between all levels of the employee base. Knowing the direction, the company is heading, and the upcoming projected outcomes can impact the productivity and results of your informed employees.
A key element of opening communication is that all information that is shared is truthful. The more people understand what’s really going on in their company, the more eager they are to help solve its problems.
The American football huddle is a visual reminder of an important leadership behavior. Communication. Talk about the plan, about the way the team works together, and about the impact and expected results when all members are engaged.
This is a good lesson for leaders today to remember. In my church we are learning that the members are more engaged with what is happening and where we are going when they are given better communication. This is a transferable leadership behavior that should be used in homes, businesses and in our community activities.
Can you see the benefit of open communications in your life and how it would help you to be more productive? Share with me your results from open communication by either commenting below or emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travis has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Tulsa for over 30 years. He is a certified Life Options Retirement Coach and is certified to facilitate and deliver the Manager As Coach Learning Series (MACLS) through CPI, and a certified Career Coach. He previously served on the board of Career Partners International (CPI) and is an equity partner in CPI, offering a global reach with over 350 offices.