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Leading in Uncertainty: Part II – Keep Communicating

By Elizabeth Jeffries, RN, CSP, CPAE 

Part II of a Three-Part Series

Thank you for your kind feedback and additional ideas from Part I of this series on intentional leadership in this time of disruption of our normal work and life routines!

Here’s Part II in the series of ideas and best practices to help you, as a home care leader, focus on your team and yourself so you can all be most productive right now and plan for the future.

Keep Communicating with Your Team

Don’t you wish you had bought stock in Zoom six months ago?  So many people and organizations are now communicating on this or other video platforms. Here are a few ideas to maximize the impact of connecting with your care team or your key leaders online.

Communicate often!  Be clear, concise and simple.  Make it a conversation.  Here are some tips that may help:

  • Speak from bullet points versus reading from a script.  It’s more natural and easier to listen to and reflects more caring and compassion.
  • Have an agenda so you are clear what you want to say.  Start and stop on time. Prepare questions, perhaps using some of the ideas from Part I. Decide if you will take questions in the chat box and how you will answer.
  • Administratively, check the position of your camera/screen so your full face and shoulders are seen. Check your lighting so you can be seen clearly.
  • Look Sharp. It’s okay to dress in casual clothes but be careful of looking too casual or unkempt. No matter how well you and your team know each other, ‘first impressions’ are made more than once and also reflect attitude and respect for your audience.
  • Smile or soften your facial expressions! Many of our workplace and home situations are intense right now but we don’t need to be dour.  If you’ve been working 12-15 hours a day, you probably look tired too.  Even with these challenges, attention to positive facial expression and body language is critical.  It creates warmth and trust and helps people feel safe. Smiling changes vocal cords and helps you sound stronger and more caring.
  • Consider setting up an optional social hour.  Extroverts hunger for connection in these times of isolation.  Introverts don’t have as much need, but they will generally be good connecting this way.  Set a day and time and send out a video invite.  Ask everyone to bring a beverage of their choice and join in for social time! Ask any two of the questions mentioned in Part I to get people talking and hopefully, laughing too!  If you have a large number of people joining, you can set up meeting rooms on Zoom and create smaller groups for deeper connections.

You can’t over communicate, especially in our current environment.  Many home care leaders set up a video meeting with their key team every morning.  Many are sending out an email update at the end of the day or doing a ‘town hall’ type meeting once a week.  People want to be in on what’s happening and what they can do.

We all think we communicate clearly, but it’s probably not so!  Personally, I agree with George Bernard Shaw who said, “The problem with communication is the illusion it has been accomplished.”

Your Journey: A Call to Action
  • What strategies will you practice as you communicate with your Care Team?

 

Elizabeth Jeffries, RN, CSP, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame is an Award-winning Keynote Speaker, Executive Leadership Coach and Author of  What Exceptional Executives Need to Know. She is CEO of Executive Mastery … a Tweed Jeffries company.    elizabeth@tweedjeffries.com

 

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