By Barb Ward

Three years post pandemic. Yes, count them, three long years. While most talk of masks, quarantine and vaccines have faded into the past (save for medical practices and hospitals), the aftershocks of the pandemic still reverberates throughout our everyday lives. 

Post-pandemic everything has changed. We work differently, we play differently, we interact and communicate differently. The pandemic did more than just threaten our health, it showed us in short order just how much we depend on each other, on face-to-face conversations and relationships. It showed us how much we rely on meetings, activities, lunches, school events, and dinners to keep us connected and in community with one another. And it made us realize how quickly, and unexpectedly all of that could be taken away.

Now, even three years later, we are trying to find our way forward. We are looking for better ways to communicate with one another, to instill confidence and trust. Now that some of us are working in a virtual world, some are in-person, and all are still a little uncertain of what’s coming next, our effective communication skills have never been more important or more complex. It used to be knowing what to say, when to say it, and maybe most importantly, how to say it were the things we needed to concentrate on most. Now, we need to consider the means for which we communicate as well.

Impact of Technology on Communication

It’s no longer just about effective words, it’s also about how we choose to connect our teams. Let’s face it, technology is amazing. Being able to connect instantly through virtual means has opened many new doors and made it possible for teams around the world to connect in a more efficient manner. But it also has down sides we should keep in mind when we are making choices for how we want to bring our teams together. For instance:

  • The term Zoom fatigue may sound familiar to you. It’s a form of mental exhaustion that results from seemingly endless virtual calls, text messages, and electronic communications. It can lead to stress and feelings of never being able to unplug and disconnect from our jobs. 
  • Colleagues and staff can feel like technology has replaced their ability to have a real connection with co-workers, minimizing the impacts of having in-the-moment conversations or brainstorming sessions. 
  • Nonverbal communication can be lost. Reading and interpreting body language and tone can be difficult even through teleconferencing mediums and it can stifle questioning and spontaneous interactions between team members.

On the flip side, we should also keep in mind, that as social beings, having in-person, face-to-face interactions is valuable, especially in cases where important decisions are being discussed and feeling the reaction in the room is useful.

How to Deliver an Effective Message

Once we have decided on how we will connect, the next big thing to think about is the message being delivered as we seek to build stronger relationships with our teams—whether remote, hybrid, or in-office. Here are some tips for communicating effectively:

  • Make sure employees understand the vision. Employees who know and believe in the vision of the organization are emotionally connected to it. They are motivated, productive, engaged, and are committed to the success of the company.
  • Listen. Dr. Steven R. Covey once said, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.” It is impossible to provide the information and answers people seek if you don’t first listen to understand what they are asking.
  • Be concise. Make sure your message is clear and right to the point. Your audience may lose the meaning of your message if you drone on and on.
  • Notice body language. Both yours and theirs. First, pay attention to your body language. Does your stance and facial expression offer an open and friendly manner? Also, pay attention to their body language, are they paying attention, nodding their head, or yawning and rolling their eyes?
  • Communicate consistently. More information is better. If employees are not given enough information, they may begin to make assumptions. It is easier to provide the information upfront than it is to quell rumors once they begin.
  • Empathize. Offer understanding for why a change in direction may cause concern. Even when a change makes sense and must happen, offering understanding and respect for where the other person is coming from can help bridge the gap.
  • Feedback. Giving and receiving feedback appropriately is important. You should offer ways for employees to constructively voice their opinions as well as avenues for leaders to address this feedback. Additionally, it is equally important to offer constructive feedback, as well as praise, for your workforce.

Once we have these skills, we can practice with them, continue to build and hone them so we are even more effective in the way we communicate. What’s more, once you have them, you will never forget how to use these skills.

Whether your organization is trying to reignite or refocus its culture, or you are completely revamping the way you do business, we can help you find your way. Contact us for a free consult at or 970-279-3330.