John W. Thompson, an unemployed Kansas man, noticed a wallet lying in the highway one afternoon. This bothered him. Sitting along the shoulder of the interstate in his car, Thompson waited for a break in traffic so he could rescue the wallet before the rushing cars tore it apart. The wallet belonged to Jim Park, who was beside himself at the honest act of a total stranger. According to The Wichita Eagle, Thompson refused a cash reward for simply doing the right thing. Instead, to help the Good Samaritan, Park committed himself to helping Thompson find a job. So far, at least three businesses want Thompson to apply. Business consulting firms will tell you that the job offers are no mistake, as those who are honest and communicate openly are a commodity.
Honesty and Open Communication: What it Means
A couple of the vital ingredients to good communication, openness and honesty are virtues needed to build a foundation of trust. They’re essential to building any type of relationship—business or personal—and go a long way toward developing a flourishing business culture. With the help of business consulting firms, you can begin the implementation of open communication and honesty in your workforce so relationships are established on trust instead of the chain of command.
- Honesty: More than just telling the truth, honesty is about telling the full story—a story that’s free of the emotional manipulation of half- or partial-truths. Honesty is about facts and objective observations. It’s also about sharing feelings and opinions, even if they are unpopular.
- Open communication: It’s all about participation and accessibility. As well as freely giving information, open communication is the willingness to receive information in turn—regardless of the difficulty of the topic. When there’s open communication in a company, managers provide direction instead of scolding, and freely offer ongoing positive feedback so employees continue with the same positive behaviors.
While it can be simple to be honest, pairing it with open communication can be a struggle because difficult feedback can be hard to give and/or receive, even when it’s true. In addition to building trust, honesty and open communication show respect for fellow coworkers, superiors and clients. Business consulting firms can help companies encourage staff to be more honest and open in all aspects of the organization—from employee feedback to having challenging discussions about key business issues..
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