Ok, so I know I have harped on the necessity for leaders to communicate and, more importantly, to know how best to communicate. Communication is a critically important activity involving all of the senses and in today’s economic environment, communication takes on an even more important role. Employees are not sure if their jobs are secure, partners are not sure if companies are viable, and what once was unthinkable has become commonplace. In times like these, communication can provide some sense of security, assurance and comfort. As Suzanne Bates suggests, think of Captain Sullenberger’s communications to both the air traffic control and to passengers during the recent plane ditching:
“We’re gonna be in the Hudson,” he says to controllers. He never wasted words, but he told people exactly what would happen. “Brace for impact,” he told the passengers, a signal that also prepared the flight crew to fall back on their training, remain calm, and get passengers safely off the plane.
What’s also worth noting is that in today’s world, communication can take place in so many different ways and from nearly anywhere on the planet. No longer are we constrained by geography. Proximity has been redefined by technological innovations. And timing is no longer an issue either. Often times I have heard colleagues say they haven’t had a chance to reach out or are simply “too busy to communicate.” It’s hard to imagine any one of us, despite how very busy we all are, not being able to find the mere moments it takes to communicate to those that want to hear from us. Imagine going to a doctor for a biopsy and not hearing back from them because they are “too busy” to let you know the results. Where do you think your imagination would go after just a couple of days of not hearing back about the results of your test? All it takes is a brief, to the point communication.
Hand write a letter recently? Yeah right. Oh, and just forget email, that’s passe. What about cell phones? Come on now, or should I say “can you hear me now?” Well, they’re alright for text messaging. Sure keeps the communications pithy. Instant messaging is nice, if you have all those you want to communicate to on your buddy list (and they’re online). You could always distribute your message via Facebook or MySpace, assuming you don’t mind the public nature of it. Oh, and let’s not forget about Twitter. In just a mere 140 characters, we can communicate a great amount. You’d be surprised. And to an enormous number of people … simultaneously.
Nina Nets It Out: There are plenty of ways to get the word out – whether it means picking up the phone, writing an email, a text message or using online technology. But, regardless of your communication weapon of choice, be sure to communicate. For, as they say, enquiring minds want to know.