Today is International Women’s Day, and my heart is warm.…
I read a recent Forbes article that gave me a refreshingly positive reminder that Coronavirus, and the tumultuous times it has brought with it, will not last forever. But just as 9/11 had a lasting impact on how we travel by plane, the impacts of COVID-19 may be felt long after it vanishes from the forefront our minds. And with that I was brought to the idea of its lasting effects on communication, for the better.
As facilitators and coaches, so much of our business at APLS Group has revolved around the deep connections we were able to make when delivering our services in-person. When the pandemic hit, we were left searching for innovative ways to maintain the same quality of communication within our relationships.
COVID-19 has led all of us to be more proactive in our outreach with internal teams and clientele — proving that healthy communication is key to productive business. But developing a rich and productive workplace “dialogue” that benefits both management, employees and business requires understanding, awareness, consistency and capability. So how do we get to this place of camaraderie?
UNDERSTANDING & AWARENESS
Understanding and awareness of our individual circumstances, work skills and communication styles must come first. By integrating programs like Wiley’s Everything DiSC on Catalyst, employees and management can ascribe meaning to how they work so interactions become more meaningful and workdays more productive.
Everything DiSC® assessments evaluate your unique work style, creating a distinctive profile based on your propensity for 4 key characteristics — Dominance, Influence, Conscientiousness and Steadiness.
The new Catalyst™ platform takes this concept into a virtual dashboard where users can utilize their DiSC results, and find ways to apply them to everyday interactions with others. Attend our upcoming Everything DiSC on Catalyst Showcase 11/8/20 to learn more.
Comprehension of communication styles isn’t enough to foster long-term connection. Consistency is key. With no deadline for when COVID-19 will be off our radars, more employers are realizing the importance of regular check-in’s. But, don’t run away thinking this means more boring business meetings at a round table.
We’ve found that breaking our teams down into smaller niches for weekly or bi-monthly check-ins has helped topics to remain relevant, engaging and valuable to those involved, while driving business goals forward.
Consistent, quality communication fosters a sense of closeness, even as we rely more heavily on virtual work settings. Thoughtful meetings can become an indispensable function that personnel demand.
TIP: Send your meeting agenda, then take a poll! Have attendees rate the relevancy of topics to determine if talking points need to be added or removed. Then you can determine if the frequency or duration of meetings needs to be altered, or if certain members can skip out on the call.
High-quality communication requires strategy and awareness. When provided consistently, it encourages deeper relationships to develop. Have a goal, provide a safe place for others to address their needs, recognize achievements, and allow for mutual evaluation to occur. These tricks can prevent micro-management and improve morale and trust.
TIP: Encourage a role reversal where employees initiate check-in’s with management. This core leadership action empowers individuals to take ownership over their work and set the standard for communication.
At the beginning of the year, many of us were left feeling isolated and incapable of fostering a safe, yet functional environment for quality communication to occur. As we near the end of 2020, we have all become masters of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and our home office. Well, sometimes… Management should ensure their employees are feeling comfortable and confident during times of transition, and have easy access to the level of communication they need.
While some of us return to office life and some stay home, organizations should continue to explore new ways to keep the ever-evolving need for communication and connection fresh. Equipping yourself and teams with ongoing career/skill training, one-on-one or group coaching opportunities, and cultural programs like DiSC can help your business advance with the evolving times ahead.
“Huddle Up” with us every Wednesday on Zoom! These free 36 minute chats are a meeting place where professionals from every industry can collaborate around relevant topics of interest. Get to know us, make connections, gain insight and find inspiration.