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  • Héctor A. Venegas

Communication in crisis times

Transcript of the video

engaging meetings is a company focused on enhancing the human-to-human communication and Meeting Design.

We do coaching, training, seminars and lectures and consult in human-to-human communication

Today I want to talk about communication in general and in times of crisis

First communication in general:

Communication is based on many different layers. Many elements have to come together to make a good communication happen.

Communication works best, when it is done honestly and authentic.

When we communicate with other human beings, we can use the elements of storytelling.

A story, that is filled with personal experiences and relating emotions.

In a good conversation the sender and the receiver keep switching their roles.

The pace the roles switch, depends on the story and how good it is created to serve the interests of both parties.

A conversation and the connection between the two parties can grow if the following questions are answered with a clear and distinct “YES”

Is the story relevant to the receiver?

Can he or she relate to that?

Is the story structured?

Is it authentic and personal?

The receiver is basically not open to whatever the sender is trying to say. Especially if there is no deeper connection between the two. From a receivers perspective he or she would think as follows:

Who are you?

What do you have?

Why should I care?

If the sender gives answers to these questions within his or her story, the attention of the receiver is attracted.

The receiver on the other side has to develop the ability of active and empathic listening.

This is an ability that requires focusing and opening up to the information sent.

Most of us don’t listen to understand.

We listen to reply!

When we have an authentic sender and an active listening receiver, we have the basis of good communication

We will create a feeling of commonality and rapport is created.

In any communication rapport is essential!

People like people, that are like themselves, or who are like how they would like to be.

When we create rapport, this will also reflect in the nonverbal communication. The body language.

When we are engaged in a good conversation, we will start mirroring the body language of the other party, which will enhance and deepen the connection between both.

It does help a lot to use positive language.

Instead of focusing on what you hate, focus on what you love.

Instead of stating problems, talk about your opportunities.

Instead of speaking about the past, start designing your future.

Another thing we have to consider though, is that there are different behavior types.

And different behavior types do communicate differently.

So, depending on what kind of type the sender and the receiver are, the words spoken or the way we send them, can be received differently.

To learn about behavioral types and their way of acting and communicating can help enormously.

To do that, there are several behavior assessment tools out there that can give you an understanding for these types and how they act and react.

One of these tools is Everything DiSC®, which we use at engaging meetings and which I can really recommend to anyone, interested in finding out more about human behavior and the way we communicate.

This can open your eyes for the reason, that you seem to get along with some people perfectly and seem to clash with some people all the time.

There is way more to communication and how it works, and I have written down only some aspects of the different layers of face-to-face communication.

But what happens, when we lose the face-to-face element?

These days within the corona crisis, we are forced to stay at home.

Meetings or events, the essential form of human-to-human communication is non-existent and most of our communication is filtered by technological means.

We use video conferencing, telephones, emails and texting to communicate with our loved ones, friends, colleagues and clients.

Among all these tools, video conferencing is the closest we can get to face-to-face communication.

So let me focus on the 3 biggest disadvantages in comparison to real face-to-face communication:

1. Time

There is a time restriction. We actually have less time, or we feel that we have less time. So, we want to make it short.

I’m not saying it is bad to come straight to the point, but to create rapport it sometimes takes a little time.

We have to consider taking the time to understand and to be understood.

2. Positive language

It is not easy to be positive, when you are forced to do something out of the ordinary.

We are forced to stay at home. We are forced to stay away from people we would like to interact with.

We are forced to use technology to be able to communicate with anyone.

How many times does it happen, that something doesn’t work?!

• bad internet connection

• downloading problems

• ”what did you say….I didn't get that…”

• “I lost you there…, your audio seems to have problems…”

Being positive is hard, when all you hear is negativity anywhere you listen to.

With all the bad news, people start their conversation with negative thoughts… “Well yeah, I’m still healthy, but you know…a friend of mine…”

This creates a negative atmosphere which affects the conversation from the get go.

3. nonverbal communication

The nonverbal communication is reduced to a frame on the corner of your screen.

We pretend to look differently than we feel. We dress up, we sit calmly, we pose for the picture, we see ourselves!! That is not anyhow close to natural body language. The posture might indicate something different than we feel or say.

Rapport, which is so crucial for communication, is hard to achieve if we do not act naturally.

Acting naturally in this non-natural environment is really not easy do!!

If the communication is further reduced to just voice communication over the phone

or text via email or messaging systems, the challenges get even bigger as more layers of communication get reduced.

This was a short run through the complications of human-to-human communication and about the different layers that have to be considered.

If you make yourself aware of just some of these elements, it will enhance your communication skills and improve your performance.

Not only… but especially in these times of social distancing and technology supported communication.

Be positive!

Be open!

Be communicative!

If you want to know more, don't hesitate contacting us on or visit our website at

Try it! You will see how it works!

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