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Effecting change in turbulent times

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When a communication circle is only half completed, it allows people to seek to fill it with their own ideas, fears or concerns.

Has it ever been as hard to find a moment to catch your breath?  Are you wondering how to effect change in turbulent times? A recent New York Times editorial shared that we are going through five major events that affect all of us: the Covid-19 pandemic, the fight for social justice, tumultuous political change, the recession, and the challenge of race relations throughout the country.

All impact each and every one of us in real and different ways. 

The impact on the lives of those who manage and work with programs to support people with I/DD is dramatic. State agencies face budgets that reflect decreasing revenue, so spending is being cut. Every state is responding differently. Many are watching to see if a new federal program to assist states will be passed at the end of July.

In the meantime, staff, people we support, and their families wonder, “I just wish I knew what is happening next!”

As leaders I suspect you are wondering this, too.  Many times we don’t communicate because we have nothing new to share. We assume people know that we are not communicating because we have no news, yet that can leave a void. If  the loop is not closed, it leaves room for people to fill in the blanks – often inaccurately.

There is a basis for this in social theory.

When a communication circle is only half completed, it allows people to seek to fill it with their own ideas, fears or concerns.

Though inaccurate, it still is a natural state of people to close the circle. Like a bad game of telephone, this can create confusion, leaving people feeling abandoned, stressed, and suffering from information overload.

How do you battle this?  In turbulent times we need to effectively over-communicate – even if all we can say is that there is nothing new to share. Use this time to communicate key stories to help fill the circle: share what people are doing to get through this, what steps you are taking, and how they can ask questions, share ideas, and support each other. One of our subscribers set up a special email address just for that purpose. It works well to close that loop and keep people connected.

And never forget the amount of noise that surrounds all of us.  Your message may get lost in the midst of questions and concerns about school reopening, a loved one’s health, and the family finances.

It is not enough to rely on one message or even one type of communication, especially as you try to effect change in turbulent times.  That is where Quillo can help, adding the personal touch of video.

Quillo communication helps complete the circle and can be a great way for people to hear and feel your leadership through these challenging times.

Get ahead of the communication before people start filling in the gaps with their own worries. As you work so hard to get back to a semblance of normal, bring others along and share what you are doing.

Contact Quillo to learn more about effective communication in turbulent times: [email protected] or (317) 626-4387.

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