By Dr. Andrew Calhoun, Ed.D.
Special for the Milwaukee Times
Maintaining an open line of communication is easier said than done. It becomes increasingly more important when the stakes are high and when it matters most. Everyone involved wants to be kept in the loop and up to speed as things develop. Regardless of the time of day, how large or small the issues, if it is part of something of value, people want to know.
It is impossible to keep everyone informed of what is happening 24/7. Even with the best of intentions, things can be missed and misunderstandings developed. Of course, there are times in which things can be misinterpreted, misspoken, lapses made in judgment, and when all the facts are not fully known.
Communicating effectively is quiet an undertaking. How and by what means to get the word is the ongoing challenge. Today, there are numerous channels used to get the word out including TV, radio, newspapers, social media, open forums, town hall meetings, block clubs, special panels, community centers, churches, and grapevine, and of course one of my favorites, word of mouth. Still with the best efforts, getting the word out to all interested parties will always be under construction and a work in progress.
The critical point in improving communication for any group, agency, and community organization is to always focus on the audience and what needs to be shared. And secondly, the message needs to be conveyed in such a way that it is clear and can be understood by all. Additionally, there is also a need to have time for questions, input, dialog and feedback. Lastly, if you want to have real engagement always ask, “What do you think?”
Even in the darkest of nights, there is always a desire to see. Keeping the lines of communication open always brings light to all opportunities and forward progress. Every person, regardless of their socioeconomic status wants to feel that their opinion matters and voice can are heard, especially when their lives are affected.
So… “let talk about it… the lines are now open.”
For feedback you can contact Dr. Calhoun at email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook, twitter: AC53, http://whatdoesitlooklike.blogspot.com/ or 414-571-5015.