There is no better time than now to evaluate and adjust the communication practices on your team and at your organization.  Communication during crisis and uncertainty is of vital importance to keeping everyone in the boat, rowing in the same direction, and calm.  As your methods of work change, and for many, spending more time away from being physically together, evolving your leadership and approach to communicating will need to evolve too.  

As we coach leaders through these uncertain times, they inquire about what they can do to show support to their teams during change and how their communication practices can be a vehicle of support.  A few of our recommendations are:

·  Communicate to your team your intention to support them and the importance of staying connected and establishing good communication practices.  Add to your messaging that the practices and technology being utilized or established now for communication will likely serve the team well when things evolve to the new normal.

·  Ask your team about what their needs are right now and what communication practices can support them for example, more frequent touch bases or formally scheduled time since chances to meet organically are minimized.  Do this through one on one meetings, surveys/polls, and/or team meetings.

·  More frequent communication is necessary during rapid change and/or crisis because day to day interactions and watercooler discussions may not be there to enable a normal pace of exchanging information.  This can create a gap in team cohesion.  For example, a monthly in person meeting could morph into weekly shorter meetings with some time set aside for less formal conversations on how everyone is doing.

·  Gain agreement on what should be reserved for individual, versus team meetings, versus email. Distinguish between what communication methods are most appropriate for things that are not urgent, those that are urgent, and those that are an emergency.

·  Use video communication as much as possible.  Body language adds necessary color to the conversation and offers greater connection. 

·  Create digital chat-like channels for less formal or rapidly evolving communication.  For example, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom chat.  These won’t clog email.

We are here to support leaders and teams through this ever-changing landscape.  We are happy to offer free consultation to leaders on communication practices or help them lead team discussions on establishing and refining communicating practices.  Give us a call at 269 220-0053.

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