Communication during stressful times

Communication during stressful times

Uncertainty has a way to reveal everyone's strengths and weaknesses. During drastic uncertainty, employees will seek more information in order to achieve a sense of certainty. During this unstable time, you'll discover the true quality of your team's communication skills. If you team is arguing, productivity is lagging.

Discovering each member's communication preferences will enable you to determine the best way forward.

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Communication

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  • Talk to them one-on-one. They will feel more comfortable opening up.
  • Offer multiple modes of communication. Instead of calling on them during a meeting, send them an email afterward.
  • Help them feel psychologically safe at work. Let your team know they won't face negative consequences for voicing their opinion respectfully.

Passive communicators battle to express their needs and stand by their convictions. This is because they want to avoid conflict. They may be silent during crucial meetings. If they do make a suggestion and it is challenged, they may say, "never mind then."

  • Outline and enforce boundaries. If they interrupt someone, step in and say, "Please let [Name} finish, and afterward, we'll give you time to speak too."
  • Give them a safe and healthy way to vent their anger. People under pressure are more likely to act out. Pull them aside for a one-on-one time to address their concerns.

Aggressive Communicators voice their opinions in a straightforward, often blunt way. They often interrupt others, take up significantly more time than others during meetings and don't take into account others' feelings or opinions.

  • Keep your cool. They try to get other people to express the anger they are unable to convey.
  • Redirect. If a teammate is venting to you about someone else, ask if they have talked to the other person. If not, encourage them to do so.
  • Model assertiveness. If you find a teammate avoiding you, you'll have to approach them directly and ask if they'd like to talk.They find indirect ways to hint at their displeasure.

The passive-aggressive communicators give a cold shoulder to the people they're in conflict with and are friendly with everyone else. Their words seem kind, but the tone of voice, facial expression, or body language expresses displeasure.

An assertive communicator is the ideal style: *They address problems directly and express themselves and their boundaries while maintaining respect for others.

They display emotional intelligence; they're willing to ask for help; they listen to others; they acknowledge and validate other peoples' points of view while also expressing their own perspective.

While remote work has many benefits, one disadvantage is reduced access to crucial communication cues, such as facial expressions. The lack of information can lead to miscommunication and conflict.
To counteract the negative effects and better manage your remote team:

  • Have regular one-on-one meetings with your direct reports.
  • Conduct all-hands meetings, where you gather your entire organization into one online space. This is the time to celebrate milestones, go over the next steps, hear updates, and bond as an organization.
  • Use a shared online workspace to keep everyone on your team informed on assignments, project progress, and deadlines.
  • Do team-building activities, such as book clubs, pop quizzes, game nights, etc.

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RELATED IDEAS

Passive Communicators

Passive communicators go along with the other person’s ideas, narratives and suggestions. They avoid conflicts and confrontations. They appear anxious, afraid of disapproval and are often having poor eye contact or posture.

In a relationship, these people bottle up their emotions and do what their partner plans or does. It is a ‘doom scenario’ if both partners are passive.

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IDEAS

...say they’re uncomfortable communicating with employees. 

And that number is significantly higher when the roles are reversed.

Effective communication

... is imperative for every successful business. Poor communication inevitably causes misunderstandings, confusion and conflicts that hinder productivity and professional relationships.

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