The first section begins by defining lying, deception, spin and transparency. It concludes by pointing out that a modern working definition of transparency is three words: ask me anything.
“To protect themselves from lies, deception and spin, people ask questions, and that trend will only accelerate,” Bergman explains. “People want answers, and they have many places to go to get those answers. Some are credible and some are not.
“If the organization does not focus on answering questions, the best outcome is that it loses the opportunity to influence the discussion. At worst, it’s perceived as non-transparent and/or hiding something, and its brand is tarnished by distrust.”
During the second section, the presentation demonstrates how it’s possible to be truthful, but not transparent. “Individuals and stakeholder groups ask questions because they want answers,” Bergman says. “There are risks on both sides, but the organizational risk of not answering is growing exponentially.
“It’s no longer enough to be truthful with spin, or to ignore the question and bridge to something else. Real and perceived transparency are critical to sustainability.”
The third section of the presentation examines the skill of answering questions from both personal and organizational perspectives. Research clearly shows that organizations are notoriously bad at listening, a fundamental component of answering questions effectively. On an individual basis, Bergman has long believed that the skill of answering questions is the least-developed skill in human interpersonal communication.
The workshop concludes by providing insight into how decision-making may need to be refocused to enable the organization to comfortably answer questions, and how the individual skill of answering questions effectively can create engagement, understanding and support. Contact us
if you’re interested in scheduling this unique and informative workshop for your senior management team or board of directors.