Communication is fundamental to the success of anything. I have been fascinated by the communication style of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian throughout the recent Covid outbreak in NSW. Observing how she has been communicating to the people of NSW is so refreshing and to be honest, the complete opposite to how I perceive we Victorians have been communicated to over the past 18 months.
What I have observed is her calm manner and the fact that she trusts the NSW people to do the right thing and is avoiding plunging them into lockdown (so far) based on the context of the numbers. Hang on – what? You’re not creating a huge scare campaign; you’re not jumping early to lock NSW down in its entirety – destroying livelihoods? You are actually taking a balanced approach? Wow Gladys – this is new!
I admire the communication style of a leader obviously under enormous pressure and the belief and trust she has in her people. As leaders, there are many lessons that we can take from this situation. Here are three:
- Assess a situation thoroughly and in context before reacting and consider what you need to communicate and why
- Reinforce to your team that you trust them and you believe they will do the right thing. Treat them as adults, not children
- Communicate in a way that calms a situation rather than creating fear and chaos.
Regardless of whether the situation subsides or worsens, I think the people of NSW can take some comfort in that any future action has been well considered and the action necessary rather than it being a knee jerk reaction. I am of course referring to lockdown, which a number of states have taken to implementing when the numbers and the situation far from warrant it. I think many of the powers that be have forgotten why we implemented lockdown in the first place and the purpose it served in 2020. I take comfort in the fact a political leader is choosing to communicate in a way that serves her people.