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Communication - Ways to Improve Impact and Effectiveness

We are all living it. Nothing has felt normal since COVID-19 entered our lives. Words like social distancing, quarantine, and Zoom have become a common part of our vocabulary.

The reality is this is our new reality for the foreseeable future.

Businesses that adapt are the ones that will thrive and survive. One business dynamic that has been significantly impacted by the pandemic is communication. Many businesses have a workforce, whether in part or in full, now working remote, while others have limited hours of operation. With less face time with coworkers and customers, there is no doubting communication challenges affect the way we all do business. We all know communication with customers and team members is essential.

Let me give you a few quick thoughts on this important subject as you work through the new normal for your business.

  • Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Reset, adapt, and implement adjustments for how and when you communicate with staff and customers. Now is a time to increase the frequency of your communications. Do not withdraw or let the priority placed on communication slip because you get too busy…that is a trap we can all fall in to. Rather, be even more intentional about communication. Rethink ways to connect with employees and customers and act upon those ideas.
  • Deliver clear and transparent messages. People resonate with honest and genuine messages about this new reality.
  • Reduce uncertainty with clear and relevant information. This will also help manage expectations in these uncertain times. If you feel you don’t have all the answers, just remember, no one does. Customers and staff will always appreciate your openness and honesty.
  • Show empathy. Communicate in such a manner that you recognize the challenges of others. This helps create a connection and leads to strengthening trust and understanding. This is about seeing the world as others see it.

My last suggestion may be the most important yet the most difficult to do. That is listening. Simon Sinek, a renown author and motivational speaker, says the key to being an effective listener is learning to be the last to speak. Learn to hold your opinion to yourself until everyone else has spoken. Not easy to do, right?

Being the last to speak does two things:
(1) it gives everyone the feeling they have been heard and they have contributed; and
(2) you get to hear everyone’s opinion before you offer your own.

By taking it all in, asking questions for clarity so you can understand their position and opinion will demonstrate a true desire to hear what others have to say. Learn to be the last to speak.

The new normal presents us with an opportunity to challenge our ability to embrace change, think differently, and adapt. A digitally connected world combined with a global pandemic has fueled a need to re-engineer our approach to communication for employees and customers.

I hope something I shared today helps you personally and professionally as you strive for success in the new normal.

Thank you.

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