Heads Up: Effective Communication in Tough Times

When times get tough….well, the fact is, many of us would like to put our heads down and hope it will all just go away.

 

But now’s not the time for the “duck and avoid” approach. It’s time for organizations to communicate more, not less.

 

Employees may be worried about their jobs. Customers may be worried about the supply of products or services. Suppliers may be worried about an organization’s ability to pay. By not communicating with important stakeholders like these, an organization can exacerbate anxiety. If there is a communication void, our imaginations tend to fill in the gap – and the fantasy is often worse than the reality. Worry can transform into distrust, fear or resentment. Problems can escalate into crises.

 

Instead, be visible and available. Listen to the concerns of employees, volunteers, clients, etc. Hold those meetings. Send those messages. Even if you don’t have all the answers, tell people what you know – as well as what you don’t know. Tell them what your organization is doing to respond to challenges. Reiterate the organization’s strengths and how these will support the enterprise through tough times.

 

This is the time when people want to see leadership. Keep your head up. And keep communicating.

 

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