If you have read either of my first books or virtually any articles I have written, you know one of my primary tenants is “Start with Why.”
Having a full understanding of why we do something will help minimize uncertainty and the stress that leads to a dip in productivity that goes with it.
Communication is essential in the best of times. I think back to my military days for some example. On patrol, we were sometimes given objectives by longitude and latitude.
If a single number is incorrect, a patrol could veer into enemy lines or leave a swath of area open to the enemy incursion.
Another example is accessing critical weapons systems. There are multiple safeguards to prevent unauthorized access to the most valuable and dangerous weapons systems in the United States Air Force. As Security Police, we had one piece of that chain of safeguards. I cannot go into detail, but rest assured if even one digit was off, no one could gain access to the weapons system.
A mistaken digit in a proposal or coding sequence could have catastrophic effects on a company as well.
Communication is more than just data. Earlier in the book, we talk about loneness and isolation and the problems they can cause. Regular communication is the key to mitigating those risks.
Video and conference calls are an excellent way to mimic face to face contact while we are all sheltering in place.
Being clearly seen and heard allows the maximum communication, including tone and body language, in a time that we cannot meet face to face.
These meetings should be followed up by a summary email, with everyone replying to all with the action items they are responsible for completing.
This two-way communication, with follow up, will make sure everyone knows what they are supposed to do and will help combat feelings of loneness and isolation.
Now, let’s talk about how we will be communicating during this virus-caused shutdown.
Zoom and other conference call services are now the primary methods of meeting with colleagues and clients.
Having the right tech is more important than ever before. In this reality, being heard over VOIP is essential in working from home.
Make sure you have a good set of headphones and a serviceable webcam.
Count yourself well-prepared if you have that laptop with the built-in camera. If not, you might want to dust off that 1990s webcam in the back of the closet.
If you cannot lay your hands on a webcam, you can use a smartphone as a webcam, even use it with your computer. A simple google search turned up thousands of results.
Communication is critical, take the time to ensure you are doing everything you can, using technology and digital face time to keep the lines of communications open!