Communication: Communication Processing Information from Varying Perspectives

“Processes information from varying perspectives” consists of 3 behaviors:

  • identifies the core elements of an issue;
  • considers the pros and cons, as well as the short and long-term consequences of decisions;
  • arrives at logical, clear conclusions

Staff will have greater confidence in a supervisor who demonstrates their ability to process information from varying perspectives. For example, assume that you receive a policy change from the State Office that affects supervisors, workers, and clients. It is important to consider the policy’s effects on each of these groups so that you may lead the staff in discussions to make any necessary changes in procedures.

Stay with the policy change example a little longer. Looking at the change from these three distinct perspectives — supervisors, workers, clients — will enable you to identify the core elements of the issue. Your ability to do this depends on your ability to “separate the forest from the trees.” You may require several readings and perhaps a call to the State Office for clarification before you have understood the matter sufficiently. Seeking to distill the core elements prepares you to communicate the relevant aspects of the policy change to your staff.

In making decisions related to the policy change example, seek staff input to identify a number of options, and then considers the pros and cons, as well as the short and long-term consequences of decisions. Communicating in this way involves your staff and provides you with an opportunity to hear their ideas and concerns before making a decision. This is an example of Consultative Management, in which you retain the decision-making authority, but seek staff input and give it consideration in arriving at your decision.

When you have demonstrated that you understand the core issues and see the pros and cons of different options, then you are ready to arrive at a logical clear conclusion that will be understood and accepted by the majority of your staff. This process leads to greater staff understanding, agreement and unity.

For additional growth in processing information skills:

  • Read Chapters 1-4 in How to Think Like Einstein, by Scott Thorpe.
  • Ask staff how well you communicate information, especially the core elements.
  • Take a basic course in Logic at your local Community College.

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