‘Communication holds the ultimate power to transformational success’.
From the French Revolution of 1789, to Indian Independence from British Rule in 1947 and abolition of apartheid in South Africa in 1994 social transformation was achieved because of two overriding reasons.
First, individuals across communities came together as people-to-people networks which grew into a social movement for change and ultimately resulted in social transformation.
Second, effective communications and leadership held these networks in place enabling them to grow into successful social movements of their times.
We are seeing growth in issue based movements to tackle effects of climate change, loss of natural habitats and the rising level of economic and social inequalities to name a few.
The ultimate success of these movements and others depends on communication effectiveness and the extent to which respective stakeholders are engaged in the process of transformation.
At Disability Entrepreneurship and Leadership (DEAL) Foundation we support formation and sustainability of people-to-people disability networks to address the issue of improving life chances and opportunities through creation of sustainable livelihoods and
community based enterprise. The day-to-day work of the organisation is informed by the following guiding principles of communication.
1. Active listening to make sense of things said and unsaid.
2. Checking to confirm understanding by paraphrasing things communicated.
3. Responding with clarity, completeness and consistency.
4. Being mindful of the context within which communication takes place.
5. Making no prior assumptions about persons, context or the manner in which communication takes place.
6. Ensuring the medium and style of communication including tone and content is appropriate to the target audience.
7. Ensuring communication is timely and is properly supported with the required action for it to take effect.
8. Maintaining openness and transparency in a manner that it builds trust.
9. Maintaining regular communication flow providing relevant updates and information.