This post is geared towards the many, but slowly diminishing, German-American clubs here in the states. But don’t stop reading if you don’t run a club as I’m sure you can get something out of this post as well.
Communication seems like an obvious part of working with a team, but it seems to be completely ignored in too many organizations. We all agree that more of it is needed when we ask “what can we do to grow our organization,” but something usually happens after the conversation and the idea seems to be thrown out the window. The problem with that is that we are dismissing the most crucial part of a successful organization.
I’ve been in several organizations over the years and they all struggle with this concept, and I also understand that it can be difficult to do with a large group of people. In one of the organization I used to work with, the lack of communication resulting in an ever-growing spread of lies. Someone would form an opinion based on misinformation and then spread their thoughts to others as if it was the truth. Now those who received this misinformation take it as fact, and I’m sure by now you can see where it goes from there. It becomes a spiraling mess that destroys relations and an organization.
What should be done in that situation is communicate with the individual(s) that you seem to have some misinformation with and form an honest understanding of the situation. It’s a lot easier, and less destructive, to fix an error you made before spreading it to others. Also, if someone from your club begins making accusations about another individual, make an effort to communicate with the accused person to get a better understanding of what took place. We all make mistakes, but it is best to fix them early before things get out of hand. Once you pass your mistake on to others, it becomes harder to correct. There is a great quote from the Ayn Rand novel “Atlas Shrugged” that touches on this point…
…an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error.
I could go on and on with examples of lack of communication, but I think the example explained above is sadly present in so many organizations. A little communication can go a long way, and also make your club more welcoming for others to get involved. Who wants to join or get involved in an organization that has constant arguing and frustrations over false information?