3 Tips to Communicate in Times of Fear and Uncertainty
Fear and uncertainty can bring a wave of emotions and stress within an organization. In times like this, leaders are often in a position where they need to provide an action plan, counter sweeping statements or acknowledge feelings in way that will not only communicate the next steps but also calm their listeners.
Here are some effective examples to structure your message to deliver it in a clear, focused and empathetic way.
1.Use points in time to communicate an Action Plan:
Communicate the next steps using logical points in time. This gives the listeners clear focus and allows them to see practical actions and progression. Example: “As of April we will be putting this project on hold, by mid May we will re-evaluate the bottlenecks and resources needed to complete it and in June we will notify all departments about the new timelines and action items.”
2. Focus on a solution to Counter Sweeping Statements:
Counter generalized statements by focusing on a single solution that makes your point. This will help your listener look at things through a different perspective. Example: “Overall, yes, we have seen a decline in sales, however, we have come up with a few solutions. Specifically, we are going to boost our online sales and training.”
3. Recognize and Acknowledge Feelings:
Acknowledge a person’s feelings of fear and uncertainty by recognizing their question. This shows empathy and connects you better with your listener. Example: “We welcome that question”; “We appreciate you asking”; “We were expecting that response.”
Although we can’t control how a person feels during times of fear or uncertainty, we can help calm their nerves and answer any questions with confidence. When we use structured communications to deliver an action plan, counter sweeping statements and acknowledge feelings, we will calm our listeners and deliver our message in a clear, focused and empathetic way.