A Letter From Our CEO: Effective Communication is Essential

Posted by on April 7, 2020

Dear Marketwave Stakeholders,

As we wind down (and I think many of us may be doing a “wine” down shortly) this third week of either sheltering in place or drastically limiting our physical distance from everyone, we’re all working together through a myriad of emotions. The spectrum of stories – from heartbreaking to uplifting, devastating to heroic – are all around us and are constant reminders of the magnitude of this shared experience. Yet, these stories also show us the strength of the American Spirit – the best of humanity that is revealed in a crisis.

I’m loving the Texas tenacity on my team and all around us with the business leaders who have continued to keep the wheels turning on projects, as well as stepping up to help their communities and give back in so many ways. My note to you this week is both a word of encouragement and a reminder of what is very ESSENTIAL in this moment no matter what your role is: Effective Communication.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned from some of the leaders I know who are stewarding their business and teams through this tough time. There are things we can all do as we move through the coming weeks.

Be relatable – I talked about leading with empathy last week. It’s important to relate to each other in even more personal ways during this crisis time. Start a call with a check-in on how people are doing. While business needs to get done, we have to temper our drive with being relatable and understanding. This isn’t just about relating to the storm that is raging on a national front, but also understanding the chaos and complexity that many people on our teams are experiencing just being stuck in their own homes, or even tougher sometimes, out of their homes and potentially in harm’s way.

Be consistent – Many of you have implemented either daily or weekly check-in calls or video conferences with your teams and this consistency is appreciated more than you know. Having a routine is highly recommended by mental health experts to reduce anxiety and help people feel more in control. Consistent information delivered on a regular basis. This helps everyone stay on track.

Be reassuring – Recognize your team’s efforts to remain productive, positive and persevere through this. The calm and steady voice of a leader can reassure people that we’ll get through this together if we stay vigilant and focused. There’s neuroscience that speaks to how our brains function in fear. The bottom line is: they don’t. Brains get stuck in fight-or-flight mode when fear takes over, so we need to be reassuring to help people avoid that fear response. A little hope and reassurance goes a long way to helping us cope with the storm we’re in, and be able to move through it instead of being paralyzed by it.

The trust dividends that result from relatable, consistent and reassuring communications are immeasurable. If you’re not already seeing higher commitment levels, productivity and engagement in these last couple of weeks, try leaning into these essential communications strategies and I bet you’ll be blown away by how people respond.

Take Care. Stay Well. Wash your hands. And keep communicating!

All my best,

Tina Young

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