2020 Has Changed a Common Question

For much of your life, you may have greeted friends and family with a hearty, “How are you?” or “How’s it going?”  Until not so long ago, it was really just another way of saying hello, and not many people took it as an opportunity to truly discuss how they were doing.  Those times have changed, because in the world we inhabit, it’s not a safe assumption that people are okay, particularly people you haven’t seen for a while.

This is just one example of how communications have changed in the days since COVID-19 and protests against racial injustice began.  Things are hitting us differently and emotions are raw.  People are sick and people are upset.  Many of them are not okay.  Plus, since many people are still working from home and may be for some time, we’ve lost face-to-face encounters that mean so much.

This may seem like one of a million things that have changed in our day-to-day lives, but when communicating with employees, co-workers, and business associates, it’s important.  Instead of opening your next video conference call by launching straight into whatever business you were meeting to discuss, try spending a few minutes to simply and honestly ask people if everything is alright in their lives.  If you’re a manager, it might also be a good policy to just randomly check in with your employees one-on-one, to find out how they’re actually doing.

Keeping up to date on communications is important because, as we’re seeing with many other facets of our lives, things are changing fast.