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4 Crisis Communication Tips for Business Leaders [Podcast]

Episode 103: Michael and Kathryn share their recommended communication strategy during times of crisis. If you have employees or clients that you are stewarding right now, knowing these 4 types of communication pathways will help you maneuver through the extreme challenges, as well as help preserve the mental and emotional health of those in your care. If you need some encouragement today, then give this episode a listen.

4 people communicating


In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover the 4 types of communication that you need to be aware of during a crisis.
  • Find out what Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs has to do with how you lead your team.
  • Learn how to safeguard the emotional and mental health of your team during this time of isolation.
“During a crisis, 50% to 75% of your time should be about keeping short accounts with your staff and making sure you aren't giving them overly complicated instructions. You have to slow down to speed up."
- Michael K. Redman

"You don't have to run. There's plenty of toilet paper."
- Costco employees

Take the Leadership Blindspot Quiz

 

References:

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

 

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Michael:
              Hello everyone, and welcome to HaBO Village Podcast, I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And this is a podcast dedicated to small business leaders who want to grow their companies and build passion and provision companies that are full of profit, purpose and legacy.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely. We're super excited you're here.


Michael:
              Welcome to the podcast today. Today we're going to talk about crisis communication.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, because one of the things you said last week when we put out our last podcast, and I really liked it, is that part of what we want to be able to do is help you thrive in the good times and survive the bad times.


Michael:
              That was catchy, wasn't it?


Kathryn:
               That was really catchy and you know what? We're kind of in a bad time as it turns out.


Michael:
              Yeah, the world is in a bad kind.


Kathryn:
               The world is in kind of a bad way. So let's talk about surviving this and-


Michael:
              So It's COVID-19, CV-19 as it's known, it's nickname. Hey, this is a serious time as we talked about on the podcast last week, and we want to continue to give you resources. What we realized in the last week, we had a client actually come to us, call us up and say, "Hey, we want a plan to communicate in a crisis time. We need crisis communication training. We need a crisis communication plan. Would you help us out?" And we just said, "absolutely." So we went to the whiteboard, started working out and designing a plan for them and designing a strategy and how do we communicate and test that. So what I want to do is, today we want to really talk about the major points of that.


Michael:
              I'm going to try and give us at least four major points on what things you can do to pay attention to communicating. There are four different things you can do to help with communication more. Three of them are to increase and one is to decrease, and we're going to talk about those three things. But at first, I really do think that it's important that we set some context. Don't you think Kathryn?


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              So as a leader remember, in times of crisis, the standard operating procedure for communicating to your people goes out the door.


Kathryn:
               Or communicating to your customers, or communicating to the universe, it has to show.


Michael:
              It has to change, you cannot just go, Hey, it's business as usual. Most of us know it's not business as usual, but what's happens is if we don't have any kind of words to codify how it's different, we just kind of hold on to similar patterns and behaviors and everything else. And one of the things that has changed dramatically for America in some industries is they're closed. They've just ... Hospitality, entertainment has just kind of dried up. There's restaurants that are shutting down, some of them are trying to do curbside. That's really difficult. So you've got to reduced amount of employees and in some industries like the supplement industry and the shipping industry and different things like that, it's actually increased, and then certain technologies increased. I heard a rumor that the guy who owns Zoom has increased his value. His personal value and net worth has gone up $2 billion in the last three weeks.


Kathryn:
               Well, bully for him.


Michael:
              I also heard that he spent over a billion dollars on infrastructure increasing their infrastructure so they could handle and help during this time.


Kathryn:
               But was it his billion dollars? I'm just been ... It doesn't matter.


Michael:
              [crosstalk 00:03:21] cynical, oh my goodness.


Kathryn:
               I appreciate Zoom and all you do for us like-


Michael:
              I mean, zoom has been pretty critical, but what we have in a lot of places is we're going to remote status because people are sheltering at home.


Kathryn:
               Yup.


Michael:
              And so we've got some physical changes. We've got a lot of psychological changes, and one of those things that's happening is, let's talk about what normal times, what happens in normal times Kathryn? What do we have for what we would call bandwidth?


Kathryn:
               So I would say in normal times, most of the people that you're interacting with have bandwidth. They have emotional bandwidth, so they're not riding the edge emotionally. They have physical bandwidth, they're not just completely exhausted. They have bandwidth on their time and their energy. All of those kind of quadrants of life, we typically are not stretched so much unless you're struggling with someone or you're going into burnout or something like that. But typically-


Michael:
              The average person-


Kathryn:
               Normal times-


Michael:
              Normal time-


Kathryn:
               You've got some bandwidth, you've got some flex, and that means that when something shifts, when something changes, when a new project comes up or you have to solve something really quick, you don't freak out.


Michael:
              It doesn't break you.


Kathryn:
               It doesn't break you.


Michael:
              There is margin and-


Kathryn:
               There is margin.


Michael:
              Where we have in all those areas that you're talking about. That's good. So one of the things that we were exploring this week as we were really coalescing a lot of research, a lot of psychological research, neurology and education and things that we've experienced and seen really trying to package it. So it worked for this client, is that you have to understand the context of that's what's going on in a normal state. And we have things like Maslow's Hierarchy that it's real important. And in Maslow's hierarchy at the bottom, if for those of you who are forgotten or it was in college or you kind of-


Kathryn:
               It's time to Google Maslow's hierarchy.


Michael:
              Whatever. So at the bottom you have all the necessary things for a human being to live, and it's literally survival, life or death survival at the bottom.


Kathryn:
               Food, shelter, water, the basics.


Michael:
              There are some people that would argue sex is in that bottom corner, and truly, it's a debate.


Kathryn:
               It is a debate, but not for now.


Michael:
              Not for now-


Kathryn:
               Not for now.


Michael:
              Not for today, that's a topic for another day podcast.


Kathryn:
               That's a different podcast.


Michael:
              Okay. So that said, the next one up is safety and security. And what happens in Maslow's Hierarchy if we remember, is that the higher up you go on that triangle, the more freedom you have to think about extra things. You don't have time to think about security and safety if you're just out of water and out of food and you're near death, you don't care if you're safe or not, you're going to do what you can't take and get to sustain. Once you get that and you get into, okay, I'd like to be safe and secure, once you get that, you start going into, okay, how can I do extra stuff? And as you get to the second half, the top half, you get into leisure ability-


Kathryn:
               Entertainment and-


Michael:
              Ability to think and reason and philosophize and all this kind of stuff that we just ponder our lives.


Kathryn:
               To self-actualize.


Michael:
              Those are significant pieces. What happens in these crisis moments is we move down back temporarily, we move down into that safety and security, and in this crisis of COVID-19, we've actually moved into that. And what's funny is we can move back into that place of stress and not fully realize we're there until symptoms start to arise and our people can be there. And you can say to your people like I said to my wife today, how are you doing? Just doing a check in and you responded?


Kathryn:
               I said, fine. I said I'm fine, but I was at the bank a little bit ago and I just wanted to scream because blah, blah, blah, blah, and he said," so you're fine? Good to know." And then, of course there was the small incident where you were on my laptop trying to figure out something on email and you changed the entire look and feel of how my email lays out, and normally I would be like," Michael, you need to come fix this," and instead I was like, I'm going to kill him, because my world just, I don't like bandwidth.


Michael:
              You couldn't fix it.


Kathryn:
               I couldn't fix it and it just messed up one piece of my world and I was like, maybe I'm just a little more stressed than normal, I know this is possible [crosstalk 00:07:30]-


Michael:
              And this is the thing that happens is, in these moments of stress, we can move in and out of realizing that we're not as resilient as we are in normal, peaceful times. We don't have as much bandwidth and our people don't have as much bandwidth. And in the brain we stopped thinking in the frontal lobe because we get scared and fear and we go into this fight or flight response. This starts to go into the back of our brain. And for those of you who like brain science, and I'm sure there's three of you listening today, but we get into this place where there's this, we're in fight or flight and so we're paying attention to what needs to happen and we're unsure about anything that's going on right now.


Michael:
              I've been listening to some people that I respect, I've listened to some of our peers out there and how they're talking about things on podcasts and webinars and just in the news, and what you see is a lot of people who don't really know. And if they're willing to admit, there's a lot of uncertainty even in, I can't make a decision, we can't make any prognostications.


Kathryn:
               Oh, big word.


Michael:
              Meaning I don't know what the heck's going on next week.


Kathryn:
               Well, and also I think sometimes the people who do say they think they know what's going on, there comes a place where you're just like, no you don't.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               You think you do, but you said that last week, and look where we are now.


Michael:
              Well, and there's some folks out there that I think, they are very few and far between that you can start to assess, like they're going, look, this is not going to be over in three weeks and here's the reasons why. And most people are going, okay, that makes sense, that's freaking us out, that's stressing us out. And now we have the federal government in the United States saying the most recent communication is, we're going till through April, we're sheltering at home and then there are some people who are estimating that maybe we will need through May but nobody is saying that for sure and those are kind of stressful things even to hear those things. So we want to talk about the fact that you realize that in this desire to communicate in a crisis situation, you have to first understand what was normal like and then what is non normal like because people are stressed and there's several implications that happen in this stress situation that we're in that unfortunately isn't just going away in a couple of days.


Michael:
              If we're really honest with ourselves, most people who are I would consider good thinkers are basically saying we can estimate about a week out. Right now we have the ability to kind of estimate. I can estimate two or three days out with great confidence perfectly because we know things are fluid, but it may be awhile before we can start to really go. I feel confident in saying that I can anticipate something happening in two weeks and it's actually going to play out that way. What are the odds of it playing out that way? So we're going to talk about four different major pathways. This is the four different things that we want to talk about. Four different major pathways that people take in information and process. And as a society, as human beings, any one of us tends to lean towards one of these four other than the others.


Michael:
              We actually think first in this one, one of these four areas. And those four areas are based on the way we take in, we think about it as evaluating what we call different Myers Briggs. I wasn't going to talk about Myers-Briggs too much, but there are the temperaments in there and they're these pathways that we take an information and we process information and then from that we make decisions. And so those four that we call them, we're going to call them competitives, high level, big pictures, wise, context, strategy. Another one is methodical, systems, historical reference, a lot of that kind of stuff it I'll basically, it's like, I'm going to memorize several different things and I'm going to put them together in systems and in groups and that because they're repetitive and I can do them over and over again and it helps accelerate our efficiencies and effectiveness.


Michael:
              Then from there we're talking about spontaneous or short term action-based thought processes and behaviors. So those are short chunks of information from one piece to three pieces of information and they're very time sensitive they're now. Usually let's talk about now and that category of processing of thinking is what happens now. Did I say now? Now is important to do-


Kathryn:
               Just tell you what to do.


Michael:
              Now.


Kathryn:
               Now.


Michael:
              And we joke about it, but there's other things that happen in there that's really key. And then the other one is the relational aspect. So now we've talked about what's the big picture and has everything connect. We've talked about what are systems and patterns that we can memorize and settle into and get used to so that it gives us structure and order and efficiencies in our life. When we come up with things that we're talking about, what happens next? The what next and what do we do can be given to us in small chunks. And then we think about in this fourth category how we connect as human beings, we're thinking about how this is going to impact somebody else or the people around me or the community.


Michael:
              And that's where empathy happens, that's where encouragement happens, that's where actually the whole idea of modeling and case studies can happen because you're looking at ... Tell me a story about how this impacted somebody else.


Kathryn:
               So all of us operate in some level in all four of those. But the point is that you have a tendency to lean towards one of those more strongly than another.


Michael:
              Exactly.


Kathryn:
               So-


Michael:
              In general, 45% of the population thinks about systems, has this been done before? What's the historical evidence for it?


Kathryn:
               Methodicals.


Michael:
              Three methodical.


Kathryn:
               Methodicals dominate the numbers.


Michael:
              And there's a sense in which we all gained confidence, but somebody who focuses on those, the methodicals, they gain a lot of confidence and a lot of assurance and a lot of peace knowing that this has happened before. We've done it before, somebody else has done it before. Okay this is proven. There's more certainty in it. You can think about this right away in the crisis communication area, that's a problem. Because things are changing and they're all unwanted changes and really we're playing with a game, especially with COVED-19 where nobody alive has seen this kind of home restriction before or very few people alive have seen this kind of home restriction before. Especially in the United States. Even World War II didn't cause that for us. World War I didn't cause that for us like it may have for London and the Brits in a World War II with the blackouts and all of that kind of stuff.


Michael:
              So you don't have social experience for this at all. So what happens normally is you would give yourself the leader, you'd be thinking, okay, "I'm going to communicate to each one of these groups of people. I need to think about communicating in my company and leading in my company. I need to make sure that I have vision and I'm creating purpose and context for my people." That's what happens in that NT competitive area there and we're already experiencing some of our staff realizing how important it is the context I give when I bring everybody together that when we're all remote is much harder to happen. Because I learned to do it in a frequent connected piece that I kind of tied into different group communications and all that. I'm regularly threading it, but when you're not around people on a regular basis, that's a challenge. So it's that big connective piece that gives purpose and meaning helps people know that when they're doing things over and over again, that it matters.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. In a normal communication cycle you need to make sure that you have some methodical like you need, the people need to know that you're not just making it up as you go along. There're systems, there's standard operating procedures, they're is-


Michael:
              Well how important[crosstalk 00:15:42]


Kathryn:
               Checklist.


Michael:
              Do we talk about systems in business?


Kathryn:
               All the time. So, and really if there were no methodicals in the world, nothing would get done.


Michael:
              Well we definitely need methodical mindset and methodical thinking patterns in our company and everybody needs to engage in them, not just this one group of people that prefer them. We all need to think about it. Some of us need to discipline ourselves more to work in systems and patterns and make lists and Chuck them off and not just be random. And then we have these spontaneous active now type things and when things are normal in normal times, yesterday was like the day before. And the day before it was like the week before and there's a lot of consistency in our day to day behaviors and actions and things that come along.


Michael:
              And sure, a company you could say, "Wow, this company is a little bit more volatile. You never know what's going to happen today." The reality is the same kind of things happen every day in most part and there's really nothing that's totally a big surprise. But even though we want those things in our companies, we want to think, "Hey, how do I start realizing that, that's not relevant right now?" Now let's talk about what's that's normal crisis or normal conditions where everything's fine, everything's good, everything's we can repeat because systems are counting on what's gonna happen and we can predict it. It's very predictable.


Michael:
              In this timeframe if you were to imagine each one of those, and this is probably not 100% accurate, but for sake of an example, each one of those got 25% of your time. Each one of those four things. She equally gave attention to all of them, but now we're in a crisis moment and what happens in crisis moments, whether it's a natural disaster, earthquake, something's happening in a city where there's a fire or something and everybody needs to get out of the building or get out of the neighborhood. What you have is you have a lot of people in stress and you need to bring in a lot of people or you need to give a lot of time to making sure that you're communicating more frequently. So here's what happens.


Michael:
              Methodical amount, time and everything goes down to a very sliver. This is not the time for systems and procedures. If they haven't been learned and taught by now-


Kathryn:
               This is not the time [crosstalk 00:17:58]


Michael:
              This is not the time to build them or to use them.


Kathryn:
               You may learn looking back and build systems out of it, but this is not the time to be creating a new system just for the sake of it.


Michael:
              A perfect example is do you have an emergency exit plan that your family has been trained on to get out of your house? In the case of a fire? most people do not, and the reason you plan as you plan for this day that it may happen, that's a system, that's a plan. Once the fire happens, it's not a good idea to sit down and go, "Okay, well let's design a plan and lets a strategy." You've got to do some very quick things and go out. That's where the now becomes important. So in this crisis scenario, let's say that 10 or 15% of your time is spent on systems. But what used to be 25% of your time of now communication very quick, spontaneous, short bursts goes from 25 to 50% and maybe even 70% of your time.


Michael:
              So imagine this, there's an emergency and you realize there's a natural disaster and you need to get everybody in your company, out of the building. You don't have a plan, you don't know what's going on and you don't know where the fire is. The first thing you do is you stand on a chair and you yell at everybody and you get their attention. And then you start saying in short bursts, "I want you all go out that door and go out the front door or go out that door and go out the back door." You don't give them a whole lot of directions. You don't give them a lot of stuff. And when emergency personnel and cities have to do this, they put people on almost every corner-


Kathryn:
               Yeah just to get people the next step. Not five steps.


Michael:
              Go that way.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Not directions where you go up here and turn right and then go to the next light and turn left ad then [inaudible 00:19:43] because people can't hold on to that.


Michael:
              Now this may seem all theoretical, but we have a story right now that we're really like telling. That's the Costco toilet beer story.


Kathryn:
               So a friend of ours I was chatting with yesterday and his wife had been to Costco and obviously anyone who I don't know lives in America and knows Costco knows that toilet paper is all about it. Toilet paper just seems to be the thing that everybody cares about. So his wife had gone and it was sometime in the morning and they had people stationed literally about every 10 feet or so in the store saying we have lots of toilet paper you don't need to run. And then 10 feet later we have lots of toilet paper you don't need to run. And then 10 feet later we have lots of toilet paper you don't need to run, right?


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Okay. Well in normal world that would seem insane.


Michael:
              It seems insane and condescending and everything else.


Kathryn:
               But you can imagine when people are panicking and people are thinking, I've got to survive and I've got to get stuff from my family and I've got to take care of my family, and then nobody has any toilet and I have to rush because you just got a shipman and there's danger and chaos. And they are literally helping people take a deep breath and settle so they don't hurt each other.


Michael:
              So the story went, although it's [inaudible 00:20:59], some people still ran.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Right. And part of it is ... The reason we like this is first of all, it's a realistic example in our world. It's like we treat this to our children sometimes, it's like you can't give them five instructions and then walk out of the room and hope they'll do them all. And if they're a teenager, you really can't, they have their brains gone right now, it's turned off for the next three years. But if you can say, okay, one thing, clean the toilet and then you're going to have to repeat that thing five or six times to them, clean the toilet. I need you to get to the toilet, because they're easily distracted, they forget it, they don't want to do it, whatever. But in a panic situation, the ability to remember a lot of instructions is gone.


Michael:
              So we move this crisis movement into 50 to 70% of your time is really making sure you're keeping a lot of short accounts with your staff, making sure that you're not giving overly complicated instructions. Another thing to do is you slow down to speed up. You actually slow down and not try and rush as much because if you try and rush too much and you try and keep a speed of work and everything else that you were doing beforehand, they can't process it, they can't handle it and you'll be cleaning up more messes than you need to. So this whole idea of, and you may be saying, that takes a lot of time and that takes a lot of energy and I don't have time for that, we've got other things we've got to do. I want to remind you, we're in a crisis situation. Have I said we're in a crisis situation?


Kathryn:
               You have, but say it again because they might've forgotten.


Michael:
              We're in a crisis situation.


Kathryn:
               Okay, thank you.


Michael:
              Now.


Kathryn:
               Now.


Michael:
              And I want to joke about it, but this is really important because it's this crisis point where we can laugh at it and we need to have a little bit of sense of humor in all this, but this is where we are and so what you do is you have to intentionally change the way you're going to act as a leader. As a leader, you want to act, not react. And the best way to do that is to make sure that you're acting when you have the right amount of information and when you're ready to act and you don't want to belabor too long, but you don't want to get pushed into a place where you're rushing.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, and the danger is when there's crisis and you feel like, I've got to keep my organization relevant and I've got to make sure that everybody knows that we're doing stuff, you can want to move too fast and then you set yourself up because if you can't deliver or the information you have isn't completely correct, then you're just going to frustrate people. So one of the challenges, especially when we're trying to disseminate information during this time, and if you're on email at all you know this, everybody is communicating, they're trying to tell you a whole bunch of things and it is completely overwhelming. So how do you break stuff down to chunks of information that can be taken in and acted on so people know what to do and when to do it, but don't feel like you have to force something out the door that isn't ready or you'll get yourself in trouble.


Michael:
              Okay. So we're talking about regular contact with your people, regular touch points, those five minute, 10 minute standup meetings that you might have in your office or you might've been told you should do or something like that, if you can do them on Zoom, do them on Zoom. We realized that we weren't doing enough and we made some decisions that literally today we're shifting and moving into twice a day short meetings that are going to be touch points so that, because we're so used to being around each other that we need to do that. And because there's a sense of, where's our reference point now? It's gone because we're not all in the same office and the flow and there's so many subtle things that we don't even realize.


Michael:
              So the next thing you do is after you're making sure that you're keeping those short bursts of information, multiple counts, doing repetition, being patient for that process. As a leader I want you to give a certain amount of time, and I'm thinking it's still around 25% of your time. Then two, reminding people about bringing clarity to them, bringing the big picture to them, because as they're trying to do stuff, they're going to be thinking in their mind, is this matter or not? We're in a crisis, does what I do matter? Well, yeah, it does, especially right now, we all want to keep our jobs, that we all want to keep income going and it's financial crisis also. So we're trying to make sure we're being proactive.


Michael:
              So we want to bring clarity and we want to bring accuracy to the facts. There's two different things that throw facts out of whack in the midst of this, and one is our emotions. Our emotions tell us that this is happening or that is happening. And our emotions sometimes internally are being driven or sometimes they're being driven by the news or they're being driven by other people out there who are trying to tell you that there's such an urgency to act now. They may be telling you to act in a way that's not appropriate for you. And so you want to bring facts to that and then facts to the, what's really going on. How many people really have the virus? What's the economy really doing? If you don't know, say you don't know, but let's clarify when people say that, I heard this and I heard this and I heard this.


Michael:
              As a leader, your job is to continue and go, these are the facts that are relevant. These are the ones we can verify from a trustworthy source, beyond that, we can't worry about tomorrow, we can't stress about tomorrow in an inappropriate way. So we bring clarity, we bring accuracy of the facts. We want to give context to the business, to what we're doing, remind our people about the why. And as we talk about the why of why we do our business, who we take care of. I don't know how many times I've said in the last week, week and a half, we've got our clients, they need us, we just need to take care of them and let's take care of ourselves in the process, but we need to take care of them because it's easy to forget that that's really what we're here for.


Kathryn:
               We also need to give some space to just the reality that your staff is going to have emotions that are new for them. So even like when Michael asked me earlier, how are you? And I said, fine, I think and-


Michael:
              Well, you didn't, and this is important, you're throwing a little bit of attitude and head shake into this fine right now on the mic-


Kathryn:
               Fine.


Michael:
              But when you said it to me earlier, you pause, give yourself a thought and you actually said in a very convincing way, I think I'm fine, then you were being sarcastic.


Kathryn:
               No, I wasn't being sarcastic, and then I was like-


Michael:
              And then you immediately went into telling me all the reasons why you're not fine.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And I think that's just the reality is we all want to go, I think I'm okay, but then when you start to process what is actually happening, there's like little mini places where you're like, Oh, I'm really not okay and weird things because of the bandwidth issue. Weird things can throw you off. So like I went to the bank today and you know how in this society as you go and places are starting more and more to take whatever their measures, their activities are to keep their people safe. It's like now there's a chair in front of the tellers booth, so that I can't get too close to that person.


Kathryn:
               And I was just sad, like it made me really sad and that was new, like, Oh, I'm sad about that and I'm a little angry because I feel totally distanced and I don't want to be. So some of those things that just sneak up on you and there's almost like this hijack where you're fine and then suddenly something just makes you go, Oh my gosh, and all of our staff are going through things like that. And so just space for that conversation, those processes, the acknowledgement, those things are really, really important.


Michael:
              Here's one of the things I want to-


Kathryn:
               They're all human.


Michael:
              Yeah. Here's one of the things I want you to pay attention to because what we're talking about is the mental and emotional health of your staff. You need to pay attention to yourself and listen to those around you who are telling you, you might be a little crankier or on as yourself. Believe me, that conversation has happened the last week for me with friends, especially from our office manager. You seem a little cranky, are you doing okay? How are you doing? And it was really good. I had to think about it and say, okay, I am a cranky, I'm a little frustrated that we have to do this same. I'm upset that we have to go into this situation and I don't have any control over it, but here's what I think is going on that really I want to draw your attention to.


Michael:
              I believe this is an extreme challenge to our mental and emotional health in the United States right now. I believe that the COVID virus and what's happening with us all being at home or alone is actually going to be an experiment in isolation that we have never seen in America. And especially with modern times we think that the technology is going to connect us all in it. It has the ability to do some really good things. But being in person and being on a screen are not the same thing. And I don't care if the Zoom is ... We've gotten to a place where it's one-to-one conversation where we're interacting in lifetime, but it's not the same thing as being around other human beings physically whether you're touching them or not. And we're going to start seeing, I believe we already are starting to see unexpected consequences to the psychological and emotional health of all of us.


Michael:
              And I want you to be aware that, that actually is a thing and it's starting to happen and we're starting to observe it in different people and in different leaders that even in the last 24 hours in different leaders that we've talked to, their light bulbs going on. Like, "Oh yeah, Oh, I hadn't thought about that." And so those are some extra things that right now you get to lead and step up and steward your people and it's more than just business as usual. And some of the things that were on your plate before are going to have to come off your plate right now and you're going to have to pay attention to keep an eye on it. And I'm saying that not because I want to turn this into a warm and fuzzy you're supposed to just be everybody's best friend and everything else. If you want to be just really crude and brass tacks about it, your people's mental and emotional health right now and their pacing and balancing is critical to your revenue production.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. To your ongoing survival as a business.


Michael:
              Because if you have customers right now and you lose your employees, everything's going to start to cave in. This is not an environment where you can just call up the head hunter or put an ad out and get another employee easily. You're going to have lost time and lost revenue and everything else. What you want is you want to make sure that you're keeping your really good people who might be suffering from actually being human.


Kathryn:
               Heaven forbid.


Michael:
              Heaven forbid.


Kathryn:
               No, they're humans.


Michael:
              I say that for probably a very, very small percentage of people that might be wrestling with this right now. The majority of you that are listening, you care about passion, provision companies, you care about healthy companies and or you wouldn't be listening to this podcast-


Kathryn:
               And so you care about people.


Michael:
              And so you care about people. And I just want you to do that because keeping an eye on yourself, telling your team, your leadership team to keep an eye on you and then you keep an eye on your team and your people. And just start doing things that you can do to check in because this thing's going to go on right now at the publication as we're recording this, we've got another four to eight weeks. If everything goes well, we've got another four to eight weeks of this kind of isolation and shift in our culture. So we want to make the most of it and help everybody through it and cause the biggest message we can have right now is we're in this together. Let's make sure we stay together and come out the other end together. All right so-


Kathryn:
               So to sum up.


Michael:
              To sum up, the fourth thing is the relationships and the stories. I don't think you need a lot of stories, but when you find stories about how other people are handling things well, or there are cautionary tales that you've heard, like people running to get toilet paper in Costco and falling over each other and people die because they were trampled to death getting-


Kathryn:
               Nobody has-


Michael:
              Toilet papers.


Kathryn:
               Nobody has trampled[crosstalk 00:33:44]


Michael:
              That hasn't happened yeah?


Kathryn:
               No.


Michael:
              No. But cautionary tales are great. These tales of this is how people are and just reminding people, "Hey, it's going to be okay." And if you can find things in history to talk about, tell those stories. If there is stories that you know of other people that are doing well and surviving and how they're coping with the challenges, tell those stories. But you're really looking at a process where you know 25% of your time is going to be spent in big context, encouragement, touching, base clarity, casting vision-


Kathryn:
               To remind you that there is a bigger picture and the vision.


Michael:
              And then you're going to take, if that's 25% then you've got an extra, let's say 70% of your time is going to be in just short burst communications, high frequency, making sure that people are like get them just to the next step. And maybe if they're doing well they can get to two or three steps. But give them permission and give yourself permission to regularly be talking to them about what's next, what's next, what's next. So they stay on track, they want to stay on track. It's just really hard sometimes and we have really bright people right now on our team who are just struggling at moments with either staying focused or even being able to work hard for three hours and then go, okay, what was it I just did?


Kathryn:
               And I'm one of them.


Michael:
              All right. So you've got that, you've got the 70% that gives you really 95% and then the rest of it is spend about two and a half percent of your time doing systems and building systems. You just need to pay attention to the really, really, really, really basics and spend about two and a half, 3% of your time. I know that's going over 100% of telling stories. If you can just continue to encourage people, there's a big picture, we're going to be okay, we're in it together, here's context and then let's just get on. Let's just do the next thing. Let's just do the next thing and remind them about the next thing. That is crisis communication at its peak at its Zenith, and then as things get better and routine and things start to happen again, you'll be able to decrease the amount of time you're spending in that 70% that now type of category.


Michael:
              You'd be able to decrease that and you'll be able to increase your systems and your patterns. And what will happen is your people's mental capacity will go up as they start seeing consistency, even if it's consistency of you regularly being there, you regularly being supportive and you beg early, reminding them they'll hold onto the things that are regular and daily. And if you can do that, you're going to actually be a rock star in the midst of crisis communication. How'd we do, Kathryn?


Kathryn:
               I think we did okay except for not being able to add to a hundred. Other than that, I think we're golden.


Michael:
              In a crisis situation sometime math is challenging.


Kathryn:
               Math is tough, math's tough. Now that's, I think it's helpful and hopefully you find it helpful too because we have to rethink how we communicate during a crisis. It can be business as usual, you know it, but sometimes being able to say, "Okay, think about it this way and give you some tangible concepts around it." I think can be really helpful.


Michael:
              Okay. We're doing our best right now to just bring you relevant content that we think is helpful, stuff we know that's working with our clients, stuff we know that's working in leadership development and business development and that's pertinent to now on the time of now. So we really appreciate you listening. If you know anybody who needs this, please share this podcast. Give them the information, give them something that they can stop and listen to. Listen as they're hanging out at home and because we want to be a help, we want to help people build passionate provision companies. Companies that thrive in good times and survive in the difficult times. And right now our goal is to not try and get ahead a lot. Our goal is to do what we need to survive and do it with some simple as semblance.


Kathryn:
               Semblance.


Michael:
              Semblance.


Kathryn:
               Semblance.


Michael:
              Oh thank you for correcting [inaudible 00:37:44]


Kathryn:
               Quiet welcome.


Michael:
              Of peace and normalcy our goal is to bring as much as we can to them.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               And if you have any questions or things that you'd like to hear us talk about, don't hesitate to shoot. Shoot an email to us, fill out a form on the website. Just let us know what you're thinking and how we can help you.


Michael:
              Yeah, come to habovillage.com or halfabubbleout.com and please send us an email, fill out a form, and we would love to hear from you right now. We'd love to hear your success stories. We'd love to hear your questions and one of the things you're concerned about because we are committed to creating content, especially right now even more frequently to be helpful. And this is something we can do to give back and our place as we teach in the things that we do with consulting.


Michael:
              So have a great day, keep your head up. We're going to be fine. We're all to get through this together. You're awesome, you're a great leader and you're doing right things to keep moving forward and we just are continuing to pray for all of you for wisdom and the ability to find your way forward with your company and thrive after we're through all this. Have a great day. My name is Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And this is the HaBO Village Podcast. Take care.


Kathryn:
               Bye.