Working on multiple timelines while your team is working remotely as well as a global pandemic has been a challenge for all of us. Effective communication skills and emotional intelligence become increasingly important when establishing new ways of working and thriving in the new normal.
• Be clear and concise
Keep your language easy to digest. If you can say the same thing with fewer (or shorter) words, do it. Just think: what am I really trying to say? Then say it and stop. No need to add anything, unless you have a good reason. Hint: When writing, think of an inverted pyramid. The most important information first, the broader base of detail later. Finding the right tone and structure also means less room for any follow up questions.
• Inclusive messaging
Concise should not mean abrupt or unauthentic. Be thoughtful about finding the right words. Explain complex things in a simple way and make use of bullet points. Use everyday terms and avoid jargon and acronyms. Hint: Always remember your audience and provide context to the information, but without being too colloquial or local with your choice of language. If in doubt, keep your message simple and inclusive.
• Consider the method and tools
What is the most efficient way to engage with your team on different topics? Think about the tools you have at your disposal, whether that’s email, instant message or phone. Hint: regularly communicate with your team how you expect everyone to communicate with each other, including the method and frequency.
• Let your team see you and create space for dialogue
As a manager your key responsibility is the overall effectiveness of your department including keeping your team connected, motivated and supporting their welfare; and during these unprecedented and trying times, it's more important than ever. Ensure that there are regular times where you are using video for you team to see and feel connected and allow space for dialogue even if the conversations are uncomfortable- lean into them and support your team, you don’t always have to have the answer, but people do need to feel they are being heard. Hint: As a Manager, remember you’re on camera. Be presentable and make sure you’re portraying effective and appropriate language, while listening to your crew at all times.