The Afterthought of Communication
Uncertain times (perhaps, e.g., a global pandemic) tend to create an environment in which leaders are less apt to give feedback to their employees. There are various causes and various results.
It is conceivable that any leader anywhere is giving all there is just trying to keep the company afloat. It may be that the level of self-care being practiced by the leader is well below what is needed. It could be something else entirely. Any number of situations can negatively impact intra-organizational communications.
But those very situations are the times in which it is most important for leaders to actually lead, thereby helping their team members be successful.
The success of the past 15 months of remote work has many organizations rethinking the requirements of in-office work schedules. We suddenly have options: in-office, virtual, and hybrid.
The non-option is whether leaders can relax the frequency and precision of their communications with their teams. The pandemic created a “new normal”, and with our ability to move out of lockdown, there will come a “new, new normal.” It’s not what we used to do, and it’s not what we’re doing now, which means there is still uncertainty and upheaval, and communication is of even greater importance.
What constitutes “important communication” will vary by the individual, the team’s projects, and the requirements and the overall direction of the organization. But almost every team can benefit from the reminder that, while we haven’t been able to control many of the changes that have come our way, that doesn’t mean we can’t control anything.
Lack of control is scary. But getting back to the basics – things you already know – helps remove the fear from most any situation. Since very little of what we used to call “normal” remains in our lives and we can’t see what’s around the corner (the fear), we may need to be reminded of why we do what we do (the basic).
In the face of both the current “new normal” and the impending “new, new normal”, leaders must continue to think clearly and creatively, manage relationships, and make smart, informed choices.
Provide a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment that fosters innovation, vision, and accountability to help your team do the same. Adaptive, compassionate, and decisive leadership that puts people before economics is a great approach and benefits both the team and the leader.
That sounds wonderful. What does it look like? Some options to consider for communicating in the “new, new normal”:
- Provide a detailed description of the position requirements – in virtual, in-office, or hybrid conditions. This is not a “how”; rather, it entails the responsibility and authority of the role.
- Set clear expectations. If certain formats are required for certain reports, specify that. If a client needs a document by a specific time, be sure the deadline is communicated.
- Provide concrete examples of what success will look like. For x project, we need these deliverables to the client by that date.
- Engage your team early and often in new projects.
- Encourage your team to provide solutions to problems and recommended resolutions to challenges.
This doesn’t have to be a daunting task; taking one step at a time can get you communicating at a cadence that drives respect and trust, regardless of the varying work locations of your team.
I can help you intentionally strategize your communication philosophy to consider next steps to help you grow into a truly excellent leader. Let’s chat!
P.S. Book a Complimentary Strategy Session so we can get you moving in the right direction; click on my Complimentary Strategy Session calendar link here and let’s book a time together so you can get started today!
P.P.S. With over three decades of professional experience in corporate operations and executive human resources, I am a proven results-driven leader. My expertise includes strategy, change management, talent management and organizational development, employee relations, and executive and leadership coaching. I am a highly effective communicator and team leader with proven ability to build long-term relationships across internal and external customer environments built with integrity, confidence, authenticity, and trust.