During this global crisis, which is affecting everyone and every business, it is more essential than ever to communicate effectively and to negotiate like never before, says Stephen Grossman.
Regular, concise, calm, confident and honest communication will go a long way to keep your staff, partners,customers, suppliers and others in your ecosystem calmer and more confident in you and your business. During a crisis, people seek answers more than ever. They will fill silence with speculation about the worst-case scenario. That anxiety will trigger stress, panic and negativity. They need leadership.
The best way to demonstrate that leadership is by communicating one’s plans of action, what steps are being taken to reduce risk and loss, what the next immediate steps will be, etc.
Don’t try to instill confidence with false prophecies about how great the future will be. No one knows how this crisis will play out and for how long. Stick to facts, stick to actions being taken, and be available to answer questions.
Part of that simple communication strategy should be making a list of all your creditors, debtors, key partners and key suppliers.
Assess your current and mid-term forecast for being able to carry out business-as-usual. Where you identify or predict a problem, consider your best options and then communicate that. Where a negative response comes back, take the initiative to engage in creative, constructive negotiations to find alternative ways to solve the problem. If negotiations are not your forte, seek the help of professional negotiators you know or find a credible negotiation consultant.