Partnerships are founded on shared purpose, vision, values and principles and mutual respect. They honor one another’s unique skills, strengths, and talents. Partnerships are also honest about individual weaknesses. In fact, partnerships are healthiest when the individual weaknesses are compensated by the strengths of others. Communication is the vehicle through which plans, strategies, and tactics are developed and fine-tuned. Partnerships often breakdown at the point where assumptions take the place of communication. In the midst of COVID 19, breakdowns have become super apparent at home, work and in governmental partnerships. Proper communication minimizes breakdown.
Imagine now that there is a major lifestyle change and that the partnership at work is unprepared for and is scrambling to address. something that drives everyone to work from home. Now imagine that this puts pressure on the partnership at home in that there is no plan for how to manage the impact of one or both partners working from home and managing children. The following are some communication guidelines to help better manage partnerships.
Transparent agendas lead to easier fulfillment and clearer communication. From here partners can begin with shared priorities and then balancing individual needs. Many people listen “shared priorities” as “the kids” at home and “profit” at work but actually, the shared priority is individual needs and growth. Transparent agendas lead to healthier relationships, children and/or profits. Putting your well being first =stronger more capable you better able to meet the needs of others.
In that context, we need always shape our communication into a form that our partner(s) can receive- what is their communication style? What are their “buttons/triggers”? When is it best to speak with them? Worst time to speak? What kind of communication is best for which kind of situation? What other responsibilities do they have pressing on them? While we are at it, let’s take the time to give them credit for all they are accomplishing. Ther is a tendency to only communicate about what is missing- its more efficient after all- but regular acknowledgment will go a long way!
Have regular organizational/strategic meetings and follow up tactical/to do communication. In this way, you will remain on course and there will be less overlap and fewer things slipping between the cracks. Have major planning meetings quarterly. Whether you’re a family of a business, getting on the same page every season and re-calibrating for the seasonal change will minimize breakdowns.
If ever a crisis has driven home the need to plan for change, it’s COVID 19! Though it might be difficult to foresee this kind of crisis, keeping a three-month reserve and minimizing debt as a game plan certainly has made life easier for businesses and families that have that in place for example.
Whether it be your children or your co-workers, Share information and communication from your planning and strategizing with everyone impacted. Teams/families like to know what the plan is especially if it impacts them.
In a Crisis, get together and look for advantages that can be leveraged from the change. There is ALWAYS an opportunity. The sooner you normalize your teams with planning and strong communication, the faster you will find opportunity. Change always reveals opportunity!