When we think of straight talk, we think of speaking candidly and openly. We imagine saying what we mean so that other people understand us perfectly. We imagine a world of insightful exchanges, where people from all backgrounds talk to each other in constructive ways. We imagine a world where everyone takes responsibility for clear, honest, and open communication.
Straight Talk is aimed at building such a world. It is aimed at building a world of competent communicators. But what does competent communication mean?
We mean more than the ability to use language well, or to articulate one’s thoughts and feelings clearly. We mean more than knowing how to get a message across. We mean more than being able to listen well, although that too plays a part. When we talk about competence in communicating we really mean three things.
Fundamentally, then, competence in communication means challenging and changing the ways we listen and talk to one another. It means turning some of our traditional ideas about communication upside down. At the heart of this concept is the idea that competency in communicating is different from competency in any other field or endeavor. That’s why it’s so hard.
We’ve all experienced what happens when two unskilled communicators get in a room together and fling assertions back and forth like Ping-Pong balls.
Ping: That’s how we do things at XYZ Corp.
Pong: Well, that’s not how we did things at ABC Corp.
Ping: Well, that’s how we do them here.
Pong: That’s not the way it should be done.
Asking questions – especially good questions – is a sign of competence in communicating. Flatly stating your opinions is a sign of incompetence. Curiosity is a reflection of competence. Certainty is a reflection of incompetence. Good communicators realize that knowing all the answers isn’t a sign of competence. It’s most often a sign of incompetence.
The Straight Talk survey is a powerful tool on its own, and a great way to introduce Straight Talk. The blog and its newsletter are designed to teach the basic principles of Straight Talk over time. The video course is a great way for individuals to learn about Straight Talk at their own pace. The quickest way to teach Straight Talk is our trainer’s guide, which includes a participant handbook and exact script to host your own training session.
The Straight Talk book provides the common ground to help teams gain competency in communication as quickly and effectively as possible.
|Lesson 1: What is Straight Talk?||Lesson 3: First Steps to Effective Communication|