Updated: May 2, 2020
Every organization with which I have worked has had some degree of communication challenges. During this virtual environment, our communication has never been more important. A recent study stated people are feeling less informed at work while more challenged to keep co-workers in the loop. The easiest lever to pull is to say, “let’s have more meetings!” But to schedule more meetings will not solve the lack of communication. In fact, the increase in meetings could be creating new problems – such as “now that there are so many meetings, I can’t get my work done.”
The pandemic has forced many of us to change different aspects of our lives: from working completely at home (with all the distractions that can incur) to doing three times the work because companies have had to downsize. Whatever the changes have been for you, look to the bright side. We have all been given an opportunity to reset our lives and the way we lead them. Communication is one area that we can all assess to determine where and how we need to connect differently to be effective in this new norm.
We constantly need to be checking in with our team and colleagues to address any changes necessary to improve communication. Ask for feedback on how clear and effective we are and where we could improve. We cannot think and act the way we used to and still be effective. We need to be flexible now more than ever. We must be willing and able to pivot based on need.
Finally, we must be authentically caring with the people with whom we work and employ empathy. We all have our internal challenges with living in isolation. Understand that you may have no idea what your colleagues are experiencing that is causing them anxiety, heartache and more. Therefore, lead with patience. This change can foster new traits in you if you allow it. Stretch yourself and allow others to stretch their skill. Together we are stronger.