“Why giving information is not the same as communicating.”

Why is there such an epidemic of poor communication in a world filled with seemingly unlimited technology? Most organizations I’ve worked with for the past 15 years as a full-time executive leadership coach, list communication as their number one complaint. If not careful, you can assume this is a simple cover for deeper issues masking the real problems at the heart of organizational failure.

Communication problems center on how everyone regards and treats information, as a tangible commodity. The prevailing expectation is that information is controllable, stable and obedient and therefore, manageable. Not so. Information is fluid and in a continual process of reorganizing itself. It is literally “in-formation.”

When there is not enough transparency, misinformation, gossip and rumors have lots of room and opportunities to grow. Most organizations, Christian or otherwise, are like petri dishes. Growing all kinds of untruths or half-truths in the absence of solid and open communication.

Not telling people what is going on does not help them function better in their responsibilities but creates a rumor mill. And, those mills operate 24/7. Leaders start those rumor mills by not saying enough soon enough, and with enough direction. Trust yourself more and trust the people you lead more.

If you can’t, you should not be leading. And, your team should be finding someone else to follow. If you don’t have confidence in yourself to be brutally honest with clear and concise information, why are you leading? If you can’t trust your team with that information, why are they still on your team?

Great leaders don’t communicate all the information to everyone all the time. However, the information they do communicate is accurate, adequate and shared as widely and deeply as needed in order for all team members to operate with competence and confidence.

Keep in mind, there are times when even the best leaders over-inform, meaning, give too much information. However, keep in mind, you can never over-communicate, give too much understanding about the information.

One of leaderships’ greatest responsibilities is to remove doubt and fear from the workplace. Inaccurate, inadequate or poorly communicated information creates most of the fear.

When was the last time you checked out the ”Fear and Doubt” gage of your team?