Create Strong Communications

Five weeks into our lives changing, how are you doing? Amongst all the changes you have experienced, hopefully you are well and have escaped any illness from the coronavirus. It’s been a crazy time and an amazing time. So impressive to me is the adaptability we all have when “push comes to shove” as the saying goes. Birthday “drive-by” parades, zoom now a household resource, virtual 5K’s and cocktails “to go” being just a few examples. And then the many ways communities, organizations, and simply friends are stepping up and gathering masks & PPE supplies to deliver to healthcare professionals along with financial donations to support local restaurants in buying food to deliver to our brave men & women in healthcare, also our fire fighters & police officers. And the flip side…the horror of having a loved one be suddenly lost to this sudden killer in our communities .. and with that seriousness, taking our new “available time” to appreciate what we do have. So much in just 5 weeks!!!

What hasn’t changed in the midst of all this change is our communications. Communicating and connecting has not been eliminated. Our words and their purpose remain available to us for use in our daily communications. We might consider it to be our GLUE for these times .. keeping it all together.

Where we have to be careful, however, is with the presentation of our communications. That part, the how and where of our communications, “is” one of our many changes being experienced and can affect the strength of our GLUE.

For example .. in our homes, we are now face-to-face 24/7 with those that previously during the day, we probably communicated with via text or a phone call. And those we communicated with face to face at work .. fellow employees, clients, vendors…are now all remote and communicated with via text, email, phone, zoom! Why does this matter?  Let’s take these one at a time:

  •  at home .., when communications are via a device, i.e. text, phone, there is more buffer for the intention of the message… there is room for your recipients to insert their own take on your meaning, or assume what you mean. Face to face doesn’t offer that same buffer as you are right there saying it! Without the right delivery in face-to-face communications, it’s easy to miss the mark.  Are you noticing more conflict at home, or maybe less? Has a child heard a “yes” vs what you really meant? Or is the family not connecting to each other as well as it may have appeared when communications had more space? OR, are you communicating better? That would be a wonderful result!
  • at work… do you ever want to reach through that zoom screen and just reach out? Have that little side conversation .. get that nod of approval, a sign of acceptance of what you are delivering? Do you wonder if people are listening? Hearing you correctly? Wish you could see the body language … maybe hear a more authentic tone vs what is delivered over zoom?  Are you understanding each other? Are you connecting? Is it working as well as it did in the office?

Hopefully it makes sense that if communications is to be the glue holding it all together, communications must be clear, strong, and holding! Communications must be presented with a defined purpose & intention.  Families have to be strong, businesses have to bounce back and unity must be built. We don’t need to be misunderstand, get something wrong, or not be heard correctly. etc.

It is so very easy to miss our mark … for example, how many different ways might the simple word “wonderful” be taken when read or heard? Tone, volume, body language, attitude, surrounding words, emotions, emojis, etc. all can change its perceived intention. Pre-existing perceptions people have of you will also  influence what is received as your intention.

Strong communications – clear communications – quality communications – effective communications require a bit of thought and care. We must speak and/or write to the minds of the recipients of our words, not come from our own minds! Messages must also be delivered so that the purpose & interactive engagement is clear from the opening word to the closing words in our communications.

We must know and believe that our communication is the GLUE for keeping us sane and “on track” during this time of transition. AND, as the GLUE, we must realize how crucial it is that our conversations move all of those engaged forward… without additional confusion! We don’t need nor have time to misunderstand, get something wrong, not be heard, or be heard the wrong way etc ..this is all destructive and additional stress right now.  Create strong communications that will hold your world, and our world, together. #communicationsstrong

Here’s to your communications success!