Whether you’re a retail manager in Los Angeles or a commercial lawyer in the Albury-Wodonga region, you’re bound to face setbacks in your career. It’s the way you respond to these challenges that will differentiate you from other business leaders in your industry.
Effective communication is one of the most valuable skills you can have when navigating tough times. To ensure your skills are up to the challenge, here are five aspects of effective communication that can help you survive setbacks:
Transparency may be a terrifying prospect if you’re at fault in any way. However, it is crucial during a crisis. As a business leader, you must be prepared to communicate openly about what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what steps you’re taking to address the situation.
As mentioned, this level of transparency can be tough. Even if you’re not to blame for any aspect of the problem, it’s not easy being the bearer of difficult news. However, if you push through, share all the pertinent facts, and offer your team the transparency they need in difficult times, you’ll build trust and reassure them that you’re capable of handling the situation.
Whether you’re communicating with employees, customers, investors, or other stakeholders, regular updates are essential. Even if you don’t have any new updates to deliver, it’s vital to understand that people may be on edge and worried about what’s going on. So even just a “nothing new to report” update will help alleviate any uncertainty or fear they may be feeling. It’ll also save you from having to field calls and emails that’ll only slow you down while you’re trying to manage the crisis.
Keep your updates clear, concise, and focused on solutions rather than problems.
Effective communication involves listening just as much as talking. Nowhere is this more relevant than during a crisis. Yes, people want updates. However, they also want to know that their concerns have been heard and that their feedback is being addressed.
As a business leader, it’s vital that you carve out time to listen to your employees and other stakeholders. It may be tempting to have someone else field their concerns and suggestions. However, it’s important that they get to speak with you directly if at all possible. This not only ensures they feel valued but may also deliver valuable insights.
Empathy is a powerful tool for business leaders managing a crisis. After taking step three and actively listening to the concerns of your team and other stakeholders, it’s vital that you acknowledge their feelings and show genuine compassion. This reassures people that they’re dealing with a supportive company that values people and is committed to coming up with solutions that work for everyone.
Finally, it’s vital that you not only construct a bulletproof plan but also communicate this plan clearly and effectively. You may be more focused on putting this plan into action and handling the practical side of things. However, if you want to maintain people’s faith in you, you’ll need to let them in on your strategy. This will help everyone stay focused and motivated despite the setbacks.
Effective communication is a vital skill for business leaders navigating setbacks. By being transparent, sending regular updates, listening actively, showing compassion, and sharing your plans, you can work collaboratively to overcome challenges and emerge stronger on the other side.