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Erin Yarbro, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
Community Association Manager, President
Intel Management of SC, LLC


CRAIG'S BLOG

Craig Huntington

Craig Huntington

Communication is a Two-Way Street

Posted by Craig Huntington
Craig Huntington
Craig Huntington received his Bachelor of Science degree in business from Oregon
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 03 June 2012 in Blog

Cliché? Sure, we’ve all heard it before, but it is so obvious that we often just pooh-pooh it. In the business world, managers are often the worst at this. They often think that every word they say to their staff or their employees will be heard, understood, and immediately acted upon just because they are the ones in charge, and that’s exactly the kind of reaction the boss deserves.

 

Unfortunately, that’s exactly the kind of attitude that leads employees and staff to resist, defy and even ignore. A defensive employee is not a happy, productive employee. But an employee who feels his or her input is respected, who feels a sense of ownership in the company or a specific project, who feels empowered, not emasculated, is an employee who will go the extra mile to see a job well done.

 

 

Let me emphasize: this two-way communication thing is not just reserved for the workplace. It’s just as important, if not more so, on the home front, in your personal relationships with friends and family, with your spouse and your kids, with everyone who’s important to you.

 

This goes back to our lessons on verbal and non-verbal communication and the art of active listening. With Deborah’s and my decision to sell Huntington Property Management and to pursue a new venture at the age of 48, it was just as important for me to validate her concerns as it was for her to acknowledge my need to take a risk. It was just as important for her to “ask for clarification” about what the heck I was up to as it was for me to stop and “be quiet” so that she could effectively have her say. “Leaving the emotion” out of it was not as easy as it sounds; it never is in these situations.

 

I was asking her to uproot our family from our California dream home and move to Las Vegas to start a new adventure. I wanted to respect her fears and her trepidation. I wanted her to acknowledge my excitement. This may have been my dream and my decision, but it was our lives.

 

The problem we all face is that it is so easy for us to lose our focus on communication.

 

I freely admit that I have a problem with the concept communication as a two-way street. I struggle with it. I am more of a “just do it” type of guy. Listening is not my strong suit. I’ve learned over the years just how important active listening can be, but it proves to be difficult. Here’s what I try to remind myself:

  1. My ideas can benefit from the input of people I respect; why not take advantage of that?
  2. Listening is a great way for me to learn; the more I know, the better I can do my job.
  3. Listening empowers everyone around me; it’s a great team builder.
  4. Listening shows you care; it’s a great relationship builder.

 

Send. Receive.

 

It sounds simple. And it is simple – if you’re willing to give as much credence to the receiving part of that equation as you are the sending part.

 

That is the challenge.

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Robert Small Sunday, 03 June 2012

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
― Leo Buscaglia

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