If you’re anything like me, the frenetic speed of communication in times of crisis can feel mind-numbing. Which doesn't make communicating any easier.
An example of this is how quickly many of us moved from hypothetically planning a Distance Learning scenario that might happen down-the-road to being thrust into the thick of it in a very short time. Before we were even able to communicate the original game plan the rules changed. And the importance of clarifying those changes intensified.
All of this has made me increasingly aware of the importance of timely communication that is delivered in a helpful way. I'm learning this can be a lot harder to accomplish than it probably sounds.
But that's not all I've learned...
Recently, I reached out to a parent prior to sending a school-wide communication. I asked the parent some basic questions about what information she was needing, what she was wondering, and what might be most helpful to families. This was not something I recall doing in the past, but hearing how she was seeing things really helped inform what I wanted to communicate.
I talk about the concept of seeing things through the eyes of the learner in my book, Reclaiming Our Calling. The basic idea is that teaching and leadership should be informed by the needs of the learner. I’m learning the same concept applies to how we’re communicating with families.
Times of crisis require more than just communication. They require communication that is responsive to the needs of the people we serve. To do this we’ve got to see communication through their eyes.