I have been studying the concepts with my sponsor using the “Twelve Concepts for NA Service” booklet. The 8th concept states that “Our service structure depends on the integrity and effectiveness of our communications”.
There are several different types of communication. These include communication between groups, communication between the groups and service structure, and communication between different parts of the service structure. There is also communication between addicts, and between addicts and the groups and service structure.
In particular, effective communication is essential, in order for the groups to support and direct the activities of Area and the service structure. Without effective communication, it is not possible for Area and the service structure to be accountable to the groups and addicts.
There are ways to determine the effectiveness of communication. Elements of the service structure can do an audit of themselves at the requests of groups. These audits can include answering questions such as how effectively are we communicating with groups, and how effectively are we listening to them.
It is a problem when the groups or an element of the service structure do not know what is going on with other elements of the service structure. Doing an audit and answering questions may help in pinpointing the source of problems. All addicts should have available to them information about what it going on in the area, region, and world.
It is not necessary for the service structure to provide every detail of their activity continuously, however, if asked they should be able and willing to provide this information. When we consider who to put in service positions, we should consider how well they communicate. Once we put someone in a service position, we should realize that they are human and not beat them up for every mistake, or others will not want to volunteer.
Effective communication is very important to the formation of group conscience. It is important that group members be honest in their communication. This applies to service groups, as well as regular NA meetings. It is important to listen carefully, as well as to speak.
In summary, it is important that we stay focused on our primary purpose. Honest, straightforward communication is essential. It is important that communication be 2 way, going in both directions.