You have all probably heard about the “Gilets Jaunes” uprising in France. It all started because of ‘another’ tax---a tax concerning gas. From a protest about the new tax it developed into a an “everything-that’s-wrong-with-the government” protest. I have been following the whole thing on the news through the Internet but my recent trip to France allowed me to talk with some people about it. The crisis resulted in what they called in France, “Le grand Debat”, or The Great Discussion.” The government sent questionnaires to every town hall. People come, get a copy and answer the questions. This way they have a way of communicating their complaints to the government.
All problems between legislators and legislated seem to stem from the same issue: COMMUNICATION. We are reading a book in our Leadership Enhancement class at the station, The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink.
The last chapter we looked at (chapter 8) was very interesting. It was about the managers of a company not getting their field people to comply with certain company requirements such as the filling of paperwork, paperwork which could contribute to the company being more effective.
No matter what incentive they set out, nothing would work. The management was getting very frustrated and so were the people who felt they could never come up to the required standards. What to do?
Jocko went out to examine the problem in its usual methodical way. After talking with both sides, he realised that the problem stemmed from a breakdown of communication. They had communication, but it was more like people saying things and the other doing lip-service (or ear-service) of listening but not really assimilating information in a way that it affected policy changes.
After his discovery, Jocko acted as a communication bridge and everybody discovered things they didn’t know about each other. The field people discovered that compliance could increase their bottom-line, and the managers discovered that they needed to change some of their M.O. so the field people could comply.
Really in conclusion, in any association, society, family, group, troop, or any unit comprised of several people, it is amazing what a little honest communication can do!
If you appreciate these articles, support their upcoming publication in a book called, "REFLECTIONS OF A FIRE CHAPLAIN"