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Open communication channels – getting it right

How to discuss a problem effectively and only when needed

I’ve always made it clear that I’m a big believer in open communication channels and have no intention now on reneging on this value, which is part of Marakoudja’s DNA.

At the same time, honesty is not always the best policy. How can we decide what can be communicated and what cannot, including the when and how of saying it?

What’s the rush? Do we need to say it here and now? Is it better to air a problem even before its ramifications can be known, in order to prevent matters getting out of hand? Or should we take time to analyse the situation before bringing everything out in the open?

Do we have enough information so that the client can assess the impact of the problem and weigh up the measures that need to be taken to deal with it and inform others about it?

To tell or not to tell, that is the question!

To help you make the decision, here are four questions (1):

1. Will the value of the information change as time passes?

2. Are we reasonably sure that the information is correct?

3. Will the information we want to put across add something positive?

4. Will the information be useful to those we wish to inform?

Here’s an example to flesh out my remarks.

A problem is identified in a project by members of the project team, but the client is unaware of the issue. Should something be said?