Communication in Turbulent Times

Why are they all looking at me?

There is no more challenging time to be a leader in our lifetime. Uncertainty is at an all-time high, and what people are looking for is simple… or it sounds simple. Reassurance and answers.

As a leader, one of our most important jobs in times of crisis is to be the Chief Communication Officer. And yet, we find that many leaders grow quiet, even silent when things get tough. 

Here is why:

1. Leaders don’t feel like they have ALL the information and they don’t want to spread misinformation, so as a result they share too little - or even nothing. Frequent and clean communication decreases emotional tension and fear of the unknown.
Communication Matters
2. Leaders have direction or at least insight, and they are worried about the questions this additional information may stir up and how they will respond… so as a result they also share little to nothing.

Although both of these rationales are valid, they both generate an inherent problem…

People who arent communicated with (1)
 
There is no such thing as over-communication, especially in times of crisis. The key is to be honest with people. ‘I don’t know, and I’ll find out’ is a great answer and also something that builds rapport and respect with your people. Saying nothing, helps no one, especially you. You will be amazed at the productivity increases when people are given information that decreases their HeadTrash. 


Regardless of how much information leaders have access to during the storm, it is our job - our responsibility - to share that information with our people. So share what you can and don’t be fearful of the questions you’ll receive. Your team, once armed with information, will make more informed decisions and, more importantly, will move out of their heads and into problem-solving mode. Worry, fear, and anxiety are solution killers, progress killers, and productivity killers. Instead, create agility through sharing important information to your team and they will move forward better, smarter, and faster. 

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