Sunday, August 3, 2008

The making of sinners

I recently attended an empowered communication seminar that is part of the regular offerings of OrgCap. Truth be told, I had a full schedule that day. But because I am one of those people who just love trainings, I parked some items on my to-do list for a few hours and spent the day doing what I love most ~ learning.

From among the many concepts discussed that day, the Seven (7) Deadly Sins of Communication fascinated me most. The said "sins" were gleaned from some foreign corporate officers, based on their perceptions on how Filipinos communicate.

1. Not speaking up; being passive
2. Not communicating proactively and effectively
3. Not communicating accomplishments
4. Not volunteering, not adding value, or not going the “extra mile”
5. Not making solid commitments
6. We are slow.
7. Washing dirty linens in public.

I tried to look at these “sins” from the other side of the fence. I think I understand why some people would have these perceptions. However, I strongly believe that these perceptions are just labels that do not reflect Filipinos' capabilities and talents. I think that Filipinos who are perceived to be guilty of these sins may be exceptions to the rule or may be in an environment where they are not encouraged or allowed to be otherwise.

Everything hinges on reciprocity. If there is a desire to see people empowered, those who are in the position to be catalysts of change should make the effort to make the people thrive in an environment where empowered communicators are developed. I think the deadliest sins of all in communication are close-mindedness and inability to listen.

Empowerment entails not only an individual’s effort to free himself/herself from self-doubts and take that step towards doing what he/she fears most. Empowerment requires the skill and discernment of leaders to cultivate a culture of change and continual improvement. It should always be about the bigger picture. And the big picture demands that we see everyone and everything.

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