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5 Steps to Get your Message heard in a Crisis

The continuation of supports and the RAT race have quickly become the greatest challenges facing disability and aged care right now. It goes without saying that in this diabolical operating environment, clear leadership communications are more important than ever.

So I thought it might be helpful to outline a few simple steps for structuring your communications.

1. WHAT & WHEN: What is the issue/ problem/ WHAT are you doing about it and WHEN.

2. WHY: Why you have decided to take this action.

3. HOW: How this may impact people/ how they may feel about it/ how you feel about it/ how you will continue to update people/ how they can contact you/ how they can raise their concerns or ask questions. It’s OK to say, We don’t have all the answers, but when we know we will let you know.

4. Check your TONE: So this is where you review what you’ve covered in steps 1-3. Now is the time to make your message PERSONAL, WARM, HUMAN. You need to channel empathy and kindness. When you act or speak with kindness you actually increase the listener’s capacity to respond under pressure. Be humble, be honest.

5. Check your CHANNEL: It sounds obvious, but make sure you’re using a communication channel that your listener actually uses. (Only email readers will read your emails – so check your open rates!). You need a variety of channels. The more personal and immediate the better. Think face to face first, then phone, then video, MS Teams/ Zoom/ video…and maybe all of these options (email is way down the list). It is critical that your HR and Marketing teams can work as one to ensure the right mix of channels and message consistency.

A final word…

You may be thinking that you don’t have time to go through these steps. I get it. However, structuring your leadership communications in this way will actually save you time (in resolving message confusion or transmission failure), it will help you hang onto great staff, reduce on-the-job mistakes and provide a welcome sense of stability in the storm.

The current stage of the pandemic is likely to define your leadership for years to come. You can do this.

Hang in there,


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