Coronavirus. It’s quickly becoming the most offensive c-word in our language. No matter how hard we try, we can’t escape it. There’s always that one news notification you thought you’d muted that somehow pops up and shatters your peaceful mental self-quarantine bubble.
We can’t bury our heads in the sand. But what we can do, more so now than ever, is try and ease the confusion surrounding us by deploying an equally powerful c-word: communication.
Or, more importantly, clear communication. It’s something we feel exceptionally strong about here at Write the Talk. Communication, whether good or bad news, needs to be clear. It needs to give answers without the need for a linguistics degree to find them. We’re huge advocates of communicating important messages in the right way – in a human way.
We’ve done some thinking here at WTT HQ (albeit separately, because home-working and stuff) and come up with three easy ways that can help you create communications that your audience appreciate and value. Clear communications, told with empathy, that will help manage emotions during this stressful time:
1) Write for your audience – Depending on what industry you’re in, it’s likely that your employees aren’t experts in business ins and outs. Explain your current situation using language they use and understand. Cut the technical jargon and get to the point.
2) Be mindful of how your audience feel – Just like the rest of the world, they’re probably overwhelmed by the amount of information they’re receiving right now, the amount of uncertainty they face and how to face it. Be understanding and considerate of how they feel. Deliver your message in a way that’s not going to cause panic.
3) Structure your communications in a way that makes sense – Chances are, your employees want answers and they want them quickly. Don’t make it difficult for them to find – make important points at the top of your comms and go into the detail further down. Use signposts, headings and simple questions to help people get to what they need.
Whether you’re a senior leader in a global organisation trying to reassure your employees that their wellbeing is of highest importance, or a small business owner trying to share the right message to loyal customers, communication is the difference between panic and peaceful acceptance. It’s the difference between employees knowing they have permission to stay safe, or them not knowing whether their job will be waiting for them when they get back.
We’re all on an emotional rollercoaster, but you can help make your people’s ride as smooth as possible. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting more about creating clear communications that truly resonate with your audience.
Stay tuned and stay safe! And if you need a hand in the meantime, get in touch.