Creating A Culture of Honesty
Yesterday, Prairie was privileged to host Willow Creek’s Innovate Conference, which had to do with creating cultures of honesty within organizations and churches. Pastor Tim Schroeder did a wonderful job facilitating the itinerant event which is traveling to a number of cities across Canada. There were 150 or so students and leaders packed into Parable Place on campus for three hours of excellent training and dialog. Bill Hybels (Founding Pastor of Willow Creek) talked about the raising the bar on honesty within conversations. One of the phrases that stood out to me was “entering the tunnel of chaos” the moment when you know you have to have real frank discussion over a short time. The metaphor of the tunnel was very helpful in knowing that there is light at the end of difficult conversations. In other words, while we need to experience some chaos at times in our conversations, relationships will go deeper and be healthier. One of Hybel’s other phrases that stood out to me was, “You get as much as you ask for.” In other words, there may be times you will need to press someone for the other 2% of honesty that they are holding back on. Unless you intentionally ask for the last two percent, you may not know what people are really thinking unless you give them permission to share. Joseph Grenny was another individual that was interviewed. One of Joseph’s big ideas in creating a culture of honesty was having crucial conversations. He suggested that most of us avoid crucial conversations because it is uncomfortable to communicate at that level. Grenny gave a four step plan to raise the culture of your church. Overall, I found the conference to be a great impetus for beginning to think how we can better create cultures of honesty in all of our relationships- from marriages to large organizations. A couple of good books to check out are Crucial Conversations and Influencer.