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Communication is a magic tool

communicationWhen people talk about communication, they often frame it as one-way: ‘I am communicating to you’. Substitute ‘persuading’ for communicating, and you end up with a commercial. ‘I’m talking to you’, instead of ‘I’m talking with you.’

We’re all guilty of it, me just as much as the next person: instead of a two-way street, with information and emotion flowing back and forth, it is a one-way street (and sometimes the format – like this blog, for example – fosters one-way communication). But…it doesn’t have to be that way. The best managers, the best team leaders, the best strategists all know that if you open up communication both ways, you can turn it into a ‘magic tool’ – a supercharged way of discovery and accomplishment.

So why am I talking about communication? Well…

In these pandemic days, we’ve lost the ability to communicate face to face (ok, there’s Zoom, but, well…). That’s just the way it is and will be for the foreseeable future. Although many of our business relationships have been enhanced by past face-to-face conversations, I can promise you that you won’t be going to a conference or gathering anytime soon.

We’re also facing an audience of job seekers and employer who are looking at an all encompassing mortal threat – not only the virus (and the potential for death or permanent disability), but the possibility of financial failure. Some of the audience may be personally safe, but are worried about loved ones who aren’t so lucky. Some are out of work. Some are on reduced income. And some are working like crazy because they’re in healthcare or logistics or some other sector that is running and critical.

It can be challenging to communicate with an audience in that situation, right? Well, here are a couple of ideas that will help them – and you.

  1. Ask a question. In fact, ask several. What’s your current work situation? Are you hurting for money? Do you expect to go back to your old job? Or…do you even want to? Remember: your job seekers and employers have relied on you for hiring and career help in the past. So find out what they need now – and what they’ll need a month from now.
  2. Offer a solution. Or even more than one solution, come to think of it. For instance, what jobs are actually in demand right now? Do they require training? Where could one get such training? How? What do the employment forecasts look like for different job titles? Any industry-specific funding for job seekers or employers? How can they get it? And so on.

You’re asking and offering. That’s a two-way street – and as my post title says, it means that communication can act as a kind of magic tool. It lets you break through and help. Sure, it’s harder than a one-way ‘this is how it is’ message – but it can be much more rewarding. Try it out!

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