COVID-19 causing uncertainty:
It seems as though there’s a new story every few minutes about the impact of Coronavirus/COVID-19: events canceling, schools closing, a looming recession, borders shutting down, and companies doubling down on remote work and engagement. (Check out #suddenlyremote on social media to see how this situation is impacting companies and industries.)
Your staff is probably a bit worried and has questions, although they also have good ideas that they want to share. In this time of uncertainty, create a space where all voices can be heard and honored.
An exchange can demonstrate open listening, and ensure everyone is talking and considering ideas from one another. You can then respond to top thoughts, addressing questions and concerns.
This exchange template offers everything you need to start the conversation: a set of recommended questions based on situations you may face, sample introductory text, possible survey questions and more.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Recommended Exchange Questions
- What are your thoughts and questions about Coronavirus/COVID-19 and how we need to act/communicate/plan, etc.?
- What are some important things for us to think about as we make plans during this time of uncertainty?
- As we manage the impact of COVID-19, what are the most important things we need to do to keep everyone connected and productive while working remotely?
- What are some of the opportunities to grow our business in the presence of (or possibly even in spite of) the current COVID-19 situation?
- What are some important things to consider as we navigate school closures and the impacts of Coronavirus/COVID-19?
Every few minutes it seems we’re hearing a new story about events canceling, schools closing, recession coming, borders shutting down due to Coronavirus/COVID-19.
We want to stay connected and hear your questions and ideas on how we move forward during this challenging and uncertain time.
Please share your thoughts and then consider and rate the thoughts of others.
We will use the results of this exchange to <initiatives/next steps>.
This exchange will be open until DATE.
Thank you for sharing your perspectives with us!
- This exchange is confidential. Your thoughts will be shared, but not your identity.
- Please be polite and respectful as you share and rate thoughts.
- If you see a thought that is rude, hurtful or identifies a person or group, you can report it by clicking in the upper right corner of the thought.
- You do not need to rate all thoughts in this exchange. It is appreciated and recommended to rate around 30 over the time the exchange is open.
For up to date information on the virus, please visit <PUBLIC HEALTH WEBSITE>.
Thank you for participating in this important conversation.
Team <TEAM NAME>,
I firmly believe we are smarter and better together and I am asking you for five minutes today and another five minutes tomorrow to help us plan around Coronavirus/COVID-19
Please click this exchange link today and share your thoughts and questions. Please also come back to this link sometime tomorrow and star the thoughts shared.
On <INSERT DATE>, we will use the collective knowledge of our staff to help our planning efforts around Coronavirus/COVID-19. I thank you in advance for your willingness to participate in this exchange in order to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep our staff and students safe.
Recommended Survey Questions
Survey questions give you the opportunity to enhance your exchange data, better understand what’s important to different groups in your organization and tailor your communication to different stakeholders.
Which office/location/building do you work from?
How concerned are you about the potential spread of COVID-19?
- 1 - Not at all concerned
- 5 - Very concerned
Do you feel like we have provided you with enough information about COVID-19 as it relates to your work at this time?
We suggest keeping sign-up off to maximize participation.
Discover Your Results
As this is a time-sensitive issue, these are some simple ways that you can take action on your results.
- Lean into a Quick-Start approach to understanding your results
- Use Leader Comments to respond to the top thoughts in order to clarify misinformation or answer the questions.
- Use the Top Thoughts of the exchange to inform talking points, make sure you answer the key questions and let the participants know that they contributed to the conversation.
- Theme your results to identify key ideas and strategies/actions that will support you moving forward.
With the uncertainty around COVID-19, it is likely that we could see a steadily increasing reduction in travel to events, offices, gatherings and remote work.
Here are some situations that could arise for you in the weeks and months to come and suggestions for how you can keep people connected throughout using Thoughtexchange.
Situation 1: Important meetings need to be canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.
Cancel the meeting, but don't cancel the conversation. Take the topic and turn it into an exchange with a live online video introduction. Present a challenge and use an exchange to engage everyone to share their thinking and considering the thinking of others on critical issues in real-time. Leave the exchange open for a few days afterward to make sure anyone can participate.
- What are some ways we could address the challenge we just heard about?
- What are some thoughts or questions about what we have just covered?
- What are some challenges we need to consider as we try to achieve our goals?
Situation 2: Increasingly frequent meetings with virtual/remote attendees feeling isolated
Ask everyone for topics to discuss before the meeting, and, run exchanges during the event to equally include all voices in the room and participating online.
- What are some topics we should cover in our virtual meeting today?
- What are some thoughts and questions about what we have covered so far today?
- What are some insights or ah-has we can take away from this session?