MF 289 : Alissa Carpenter on “How to Listen and How to Be Heard”
Updated: Jun 16
Alissa Carpenter returns to talk about her new book, “How to Listen and How to Be Heard” and shares ways employers and employees can facilitate better conversations about returning to the workplace. More at www.bemovingforward.com.
Who is Alissa – Check out prior episodes
What is the book about?
“How to Listen and How to Be Heard” is exactly as the title describes. It’s about facilitating better conversations in today’s diverse workplace. Alissa uses many narrative tools, including interviews, stories, her own experiences, and even a glossary of terms and phrases to help guide readers. The goal of the book is an important one: making sure every voice is heard with respect, compassion, and understanding. Solutions are not always easy to come by but creating the right framework can make difficult conversations more manageable.
Facilitating conversations in a COVID-19 pandemic world
As we’re now in May, companies, and employers are looking towards reopening and bringing employees back. Conversations are occurring now in every industry from construction to finance to retail to the restaurant industry, which has experienced seismic changes during the pandemic and will continue to do so once stay at home orders are eased.
Alissa shares one big key for having these important, difficult, and sometimes uncomfortable conversations is leadership transparency. Leaders, especially at the top, should start the conversation with as many channels as possible, whether email, phone calls, or virtual town halls, to communicate with employees. Returning to the workplace will look very different with social distancing and safety protocols – everything from temperature checks to rules about the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s important for leaders to outline exactly how this will look. Alissa recommends that now is the time to “overshare” and overdo the communication. Everything from emails and conference calls to tour videos of the new rules in the workspace can help ease the transition and make employees feel safe in returning to work.
Inevitably, this transition back to the workplace won’t be easy. Many are feeling scared and trepidatious. Others are excited to be out of the house. Still others are struggling with homeschooling the kids as many schools remain closed.
Moreover, we now rely heavily on multiple channels, including video conferencing and will likely continue to do so going forward. How can workplaces manage conflicts and difficult conversations between employers and employees?
Alissa emphasizes that employers and employees, need to understand one another’s preferences and comfort levels with modes of communication as well as how we communicate.
Mode: which channel are employees most comfortable communicating with? For some it will be email, for others it will be video, and yet others will prefer face-to-face (now under social distancing guidelines). We now live in a world in which, the mode will impact the ability to communicate clearly and effectively.
Manner: this goes to the “how.” A simple example is an acknowledgement for a job well done. Some might prefer a simple thanks by email or text, others might prefer a card or treating someone to a cup of coffee. How we communicate is as important as the mode in which we do so, especially with weightier with higher stakes topics.
Inclusive Workplace Communication Certificate Program
As a companion to the book, Alissa is also launching an Inclusive Workplace Conversations Certificate Program designed to apply the principles detailed in her book to the workplace. Details below:
Virtual book launch party
Join Alissa for a virtual book launch party on May 19th where you can connect with Alissa, ask questions, and more! Register here or click on the image below:
Pre-order Alissa’s book “How to Listen and How to Be Heard”
Alissa’s TEDx Talk
Connect with Alissa
Subscribe to Alissa’s podcast Humanize Your Workplace
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