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The Key to Connecting

Posted By Peggy Northrop | CEO, Watermark , Thursday, April 16, 2020
Updated: Thursday, April 16, 2020

I’ve started filling pages in my little green notebook with all the things I’m learning from the generous leaders and thinkers in the Watermark community. Shellye Archambeau’s Office Hours session this week delivered dozens of useful insights in answer to our members’ questions, from the first steps to becoming a founder to setting expectations both at work and at home. (I was delighted to learn that she loathes the term “work-life balance” as much as I do--”integration” is what she aims for.)

But looking over my notes I realized that everything she talked about had communication at the core.

Managing a team? They need calm, clear guidance more than ever, so step up your communications, even when you don’t have all the answers. Tempted to lay low rather than contact your customers? The companies that build good will now, when their customers may not be able to buy anything, are the ones who will be remembered. Thinking long term, and wondering what skills will be most needed in the future? Communicating effectively and with empathy is turning out to be the most essential business skill. (“And guess what,” Archambeau says, “women are better at that.”) Relentless communication extends to your inner self too. “Strengthen your strengths,” Archambeau urges. To do that, you need to know what they are. So ask people for feedback, and use this time to invest in yourself. (We can definitely help you there.)

Now that I’ve got the theme of “relentless communication” in my head, I’m seeing examples of it everywhere. Our own Watermark Board Member Divya Ghatak, Chief People Officer at Sentinel One, recently shared a blog post with a whole section on the topic, and it’s full of useful ideas for communicating well while operating remotely. My favorite idea: Setting up a virtual company ‘living room’ where people can drop in at any time of day just to talk. Casual communication matters too, because it keeps us sane and connected. And we all need more of that.

What are you learning that’s helping you communicate more effectively right now? We’d love to hear about it. Talk to us on LinkedIn and Twitter, or drop us a note HERE, Meanwhile stay safe, be well, and hope to see you at one of our upcoming virtual events.

Tags:  #WeAreWatermark #Communication 

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