As an entrepreneur, effectively communicating in a time of crisis is a harrowing task. Businesses are closing and people are dying—it’s hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. As business owners and entrepreneurs, how do we communicate with our employees and our customers during this time? How do we step up as leaders and reassure those we are responsible for?
My friend and mentor, Marty Park, joins me in this episode of Negotiations Ninja to share his insight. Marty refers to himself as a “chronic entrepreneur” with over 25 years of experience. He’s owned and operated 13 different companies in multiple industries. He’s also lived through the housing market crash. Listen to this episode as we share our perspective on the crisis we all find ourselves entrenched in.
Outline of This Episode
- [2:30] How to communicate in times of crisis
- [4:23] “Chronic” entrepreneur Marty Park joins me
- [6:43] How to communicate with your employees
- [13:30] What do you say to investors?
- [17:21] Simply making an effort has impact
- [23:26] Structuring your day effectively by building habits
- [28:36] What is the ’Pomodoro Technique’?
- [31:10] Double-down on your effort
- [36:40] Become the leader you need to be
- [38:52] How to connect with Marty Park
Communicating in crisis as a leader to your employees
As an entrepreneur, you deal with chaos on a day-to-day basis with the current situation amplifying the chaos you’re experiencing. How do you see through the noise and the panic and manage during the chaos? Your employees might not have experienced anything like this before. They may be scared and panicked about their future.
You must remember that people are the driving force of any business. You need to show up for them as a leader. Engage them in conversation and encourage them to voice their fears—be a listening ear. As they communicate their fears it allows them to move towards rational thinking. Your willingness to listen builds connection and trust in your leadership.
Marty shares that “You get to show up and you get to be a force to change the way people are experiencing this pandemic”. Reassure them that your hand is still on the wheel, remind them of your vision, and refocus them on your ongoing strategy.
How to communicate with current or potential investors
If you’re a startup or have investors looking for cash, how do you quell their fears and reassure them that all is well? Marty recommends reminding them that they didn’t invest short-term—this wasn’t a 60 or 90-day play. Investments are meant to be long-term. Right now we are in an economic slump, but point them towards the future. Things will look different at the end of 2020 and into 2021.
Be proactive and reach out to your investors—don’t wait for them to come to you. Reconnect your investors to the correct timeline. Even if you don’t have an answer for how you’re moving forward and navigating through this crisis, let them know you are working towards a plan and you’ll update them accordingly. Simply being proactive and communicating on the front end can be reassuring.
What can you do today from a planning perspective?
Marty and I are both optimists. We believe there are opportunities just waiting for you to take advantage of. We have been forced to work from home, eliminating lengthy commutes for some of us. Why not take advantage of the added time and leverage it? We recommend focusing on the fundamentals and building a habit-base for winning. Marty agrees that habits are critical to the rhythm and cadence of your business.
You also NEED personal habits that will fill your cup. Marty points out that he has a client who budgets for a weekly massage. He personally embraces a morning routine where he works out, meditates/prays, and eats breakfast with his children. His routine grounds him and propels his day forward. Take this time to refocus your attention on something important—such as your health, side projects, or simply being more productive.
Double-down on your effort
Now is the time to start doubling-down on your effort. You may be tempted to go home and ‘Netflix and Chill’ for weeks on end, but it does little for you and your business. Instead, why don’t you step-up and ask “Where can I excel during this time?”.
Make more time available for clients. Reach out to help someone in need. Find a way to be more present with your family—even if it’s through a phone call or a video chat. Put more effort into a side-project. Focus on your business and finding ways to drive momentum.
Doubling down will generate massive results. You have more time to execute things that you “haven’t had time for”. We implore you to take action to make a bad situation better. Don’t look back on this time in a year filled with regret. Don’t look back and say “I could’ve done more”. Do everything within your power to make this period of “shelter at home” a positive experience.
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect with Marty Park
- Marty on LinkedIn
- Marty on Twitter
Connect With Mark
- Follow Negotiations Ninja on Twitter: @NegotiationPod
- Connect with Mark on LinkedIn
- Follow Negotiations Ninja on LinkedIn
- Connect on Instagram: @NegotiationPod