Your regularly scheduled blog series on virtual communication tips has been paused.

Let’s discuss the opposite.

How do you really stay connected during this Covid Craziness?

My synagogue answers this question with a question, “Will you volunteer to call congregants and talk to them?” I said yes and spent a chunk of time on the phone talking to a random list of congregants that I know and did not know. The purpose – to reach out to the entire congregation, one by one, in a time of crisis.

This phonathon provides us with the template for emotional connection in times of uncertainty.

The Guidelines: We used this list of questions to shape the conversation.

  • How are you today? (Use this time to really listen and assess the health and vulnerability of the person you are speaking with before you move on to the next questions. You may need to adjust.)
  • How do you feel?
  • Do you have a support system in place? Do you have someone you can call if you need something?
  • Help me understand what you might be worried about or need right now.
  • What are some things that you think may be challenging for you or your family moving forward?
  • Is there anything else you would like me to know?

The Outcome: I asked questions and listened. They talked. Some shared a little while others opened up about their needs, challenges and frustrations. But everyone said the following, “Thank you. Your call is really appreciated. It’s a nice thing for Temple Emanu-El to do.”

The Application to you: As a leader your ability to maintain your organization’s morale during times of crisis depends upon your ability to create a caring culture. Stop. Ask questions. Listen. Shut up. Listen some more. Be there.

© 2020 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved     

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Karen Cortell Reisman, MS, Executive Communication Author & Speaker

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