As many of you are finding out, working from home (teleworking) requires a pretty high level of communication. This unprecedented working in teams, working as an organization while social distancing, has lots of moving parts. And because it is so new and fresh, it seems to have little rhythm or a systematic approach to it. It feels a lot like…the sky is falling.
Non-stop emails and more oh by the way, we’re scheduling a video call in an hour, than I can count.
We are talking about information being updated every half hour to an hour. EVERY communication is of the highest importance right now. And nothing can fall through the cracks. It’s everywhere…all the time.
Don’t get frustrated, get prepared.
We are going to be OK friend. We have each other. I am here to help you, not only save your sanity, but to thrive & survive. Truth is, the world may never be the same; but in the meantime, you are still putting in the work to build a bigger, better, stronger toolkit to help you withstand this professional storm. And I am really proud of you for digging deep and staying committed to yourself and your legacy.
So what can you do? What can you do to continue to build your brand and polish your professional skills?
Simple, you are going to keep reading. You are going to get your pen and paper or your screenshot finger ready to capture these three, quick tips for high touch communication while teleworking.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
#1. Acknowledge Receipt.
I’ll be honest, this is a great practice to have on any day of the week but especially now when email communication is high and consistent. The bottom line is you don’t want to leave people hanging. You don’t want to leave people wondering whether or not you got the message or if you’ve been updated/notified. Simply hit reply and acknowledge that you received the message.
If a question is being ask of you, but you need time to gather info or do more research, simply provide some insight on when you’ll get back to them. “Message received. I hope to provide you an update by end of business today” or “Message received. You can expect a follow up by noon tomorrow.”
The key takeaway here, is that you start communicating that the information or their needs are on your radar. Make sense? Let’s move on.
#2. Apply the W-4.
I know some of you are thinking, say what now? I’ve never heard of it, let alone know how to apply it. Let me explain. When it comes to email and providing a high touch communication experience you’ll want to answer questions involving who, what, when, and where…your W4.
The fifth W, why (or how) is a phone call! Explanations through email can sabotage a business relationship because you are depending on the recipient to interpret what you mean and how you mean it. Don’t be tempted to type like you speak in conversation. Written, it often leads to miscommunication. Something you are likely to see increase in the coming weeks.
Take the time to elevate your brand through personal connection by picking up the phone to provide further clarity on a matter involving why/how. You’ll be glad you did.
#3. Watch Your Tone.
Here’s the thing, when someone is reading, they do not have your facial expressions, body language, or voice to help with the meaning behind your words. Take the time…better yet…make the time to re-read your email communications. Re-read your message to double check and ensure that your message says what you want it to say, how you want to say it.
Look at this social distancing, work from home era as a time to put in the work to truly set yourself apart as a consummate professional who can quickly adapt to change. Every organization looks for a team members with this skill set.
Now is your time. Let’s practice to make progress.
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