Are you being creative on how to communicate with you clients while working from home due to COVID-19? Leah Nelson, of Nelson Leadership, has come up with 7 Helpful Tips for Communicating with Clients that we wanted to share! If you have any tips of your own, please leave them in the comments.
- Stay Connected And Ask For What YOU Need: Be selfish about this. You are needing to source others. Reach out to your own community of leaders first and fill up your tank so that you will have something to give to others. Most of us have a Judge in our heads that will talk back to us about this. Tell it to quiet down for now! The demand on your own emotional and mental energy is much higher now than usual. To make it thru this, you MUST keep your own tank as full as possible.
- Keep Structure. When There Is No Structure, Create It: Research is consistent that when people in crisis go back to work and structure as soon as it's safe, they heal more quickly. Structure provides predictability and lowers anxiety.
- Listen to People's Fears and Take Them Seriously: Once people have been heard and let you know that they have been heard (the true test), then work with them on action steps of any kind. When partnered with EMPATHY and VALIDATION, action steps also help people feel less overwhelmed.
- Remind People, We Are All In This Together: Stay connected via video, if possible, to bring some normalcy to this time.
- Be Exceedingly Human: By that, I mean that you should demonstrate your concern for the very real fears and anxieties that your people are experiencing, not only professionally and economically, but socially and personally. Even though you don’t have definitive answers to all of their questions, don’t let that keep you from listening to them and empathizing with their fears. And, contrary to conventional wisdom, you should not be hesitant to share your own concerns with your people. They want to know that they can relate to you and that they are not alone in their concerns.
- Be Persistent: This is not a time to hold back. Send people updates and regular communication, even if there is not a lot of new information and the message is largely personal. No one will look back at this time and say, “my manager was so annoying with all the encouraging e-mails checking in on me.” When people are isolated, over-communication is more important than ever.
- Be Creative And Try New Things: Call semi-regular video-conference meetings that allow employees to not only talk about work, but to share their experiences dealing with this situation. Heck, you can have them share movies and games and other tools that they are finding to be helpful with their families and invite them to tell stories about what is going on in their worlds. Crises provide an opportunity for people to come to know one another and establish bonds that will endure long after the crisis is over.
What You Should Avoid: Do NOT appear cold or impersonal in the name of “business as usual,” or being absent or inconsistent in the name of “giving people space,” or being afraid to try something new. These unprecedented times call for you to stretch beyond your normal comfort zones and be even more vulnerable than usual. Six months from now, you’ll look back and be glad you did.