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5 Ways the Pandemic Has Changed How We Communicate

by | Sep 15, 2020

1 – 30 Minutes is the New Hour

You are not less busy just because you’re not traveling, commuting or happy houring with clients. Congrats. You are the optimistic scheduler you’ve always been and you already know that virtual everything exhausts the best of us. So – keep it concise whether you’re sending emails or doing presentations. An hour is a looooong time.

2 – Face Masks Create a New Smile Technique

For in-person encounters your smile must reach your eyes. Since half your face is covered make sure your eyes meet the eyes of others and if the occasion warrants a smile show that twinkle in your eye. Welcome to your new smile …  an eye-smile.

3 – Listening Skills become THE benchmark

Your ability to listen has always been mistakenly underrated. It’s the toughest communication skill. (You never want to shut up.) These days active listening is critical. Information talks, wisdom listens.

4 – Video Communication Requires the “Micro-gesture”

You only have a 2 inch by 2 inch square on most video sharing screens to show your body language and the camera sees only your head, shoulders, and maybe your torso. (Depends how far back you’re sitting or standing.) Your gestures need to model your surroundings. On a stage (back in the prehistoric non-Covid days) gesture big. Now – master the micro-gesture.

5 – Emotional Transparency Goes Mainstream

Good leadership during this pandemic requires empathy, understanding and encouragement. Sometimes you won’t have the answers. No one – wearing their personal or professional hat – is operating on Plan A. And there just might be a precious child screeching or an adorable dog barking while you deliver your version of The Gettysburg Address. Have mercy. Show grace.

© 2020 Karen Cortell Reisman, MS, Executive Communication Author & Speaker. All rights reserved.

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