When the pandemic started early this year, we were all forced to work from home without really knowing that it will last for months. Countless issues came about during the pandemic like unemployment, closure of business establishments and widespread fear over our own health. Since we’re not able to see each other face to face, we now face a greater challenge to communicate effectively while some of us still work remotely.
The Starting Point
Begin with an open mind to improve the way you communicate. Sometimes we fail to see the solution even if its right before our eyes by refusing to acknowledge its purpose. Maybe the answer is to use everything that we know and apply it to reach out to everyone, especially when it’s hard to convey what we truly want to say. There is now greater need for leaders who don’t only ask relevant questions but could also prevent miscommunication. We need someone who acts like a commander in the middle of the battlefield who points us to the right direction and also carries his role in fighting the war against the pandemic situation.
It’s not enough to address everyone collectively, the leader should reach out personally with individual teams with the use of technology. Keep in mind that~
World war II was won using different forms of communication, like morse code, pigeon carriers, human carriers, telephone lines radio etc.
Now that technology has made it possible to make communication easier through email, chat and online meetings– these choices itself may also become the very reason why we cannot effectively communicate. Sometimes switching from one means of communication to the next may be the reason why we are failing to convey and understand what was said.
Is there one form of communication which better than others? Can we combine email, chat, online meeting applications in one central application? The answer really depends on your purpose and the manner on which you are most effective at. Email will be best used for detailed communication that requires correspondences (to have a conversation trail) and file sharing. Chat applications are good for clarifying statements and giving out quick reminders. Online Meetings will be better off saved for getting agreements between stakeholders and team members, presentation of reports and discussing critical matters.
Keep in mind that real work is only done after your meeting engagements. There’s hardly any work done during any of your meetings.
Making Effective Communication a Practice
We often hear the phrase “Effective Communication”, but are we really effectively communicating with each other? Communication should be inclusive, we need to hear every single suggestion, complaint and inquiry. In order to successfully overcome the pandemic, we should give importance to what our team members say. Effective communication relies on two key actions- your ability to listen and your ability to speak your mind clearly. With these modern tools, it will now also require comprehension of what you’re reading, your ability to ask clarifying questions, and most importantly your ability to express your thoughts in written and vocal form.
In order to be effective communicators, we need to embrace that fact that there are new ways to communicate effectively. There is no need to reinvent the way that we communicate now. These tools were already being used before but they have now been widely adapted due to the pandemic situation. We just need to train ourselves and others on how to use it, retrain others if needed, and use it well.