The COVID-19 crisis has certainly altered our ways of working and navigating through our business and personal lives. I could never have imagined how different things would be in such a small time window. I’ve heard this called our “silent spring” because the noise of an active economy and our sheltering in place have stilled almost everything we know.
But one thing I do know is that Calyx is doing everything possible to ensure our clients have our full attention. Our cloud platform enabled customers a seamless transition to remote work so they could maintain operations without skipping a beat. Calyx employees are still working from home to stay safe while maintaining client support.
One thing that has not changed for us, however, is communication with our customers and with each other. Communication has always been valued and welcomed at Calyx. We’ve ramped up efforts to make sure customers are really heard as they manage through the disruption. Members of the management team call customers daily to keep them up to date and learn where we can provide support.
The Power of Listening
We’ve always found that listening is the key component of communications. At Calyx, we pride ourselves on listening, digging deeper and providing meaningful solutions. During the early days of the pandemic, we listened to what our clients and the market needed. It was necessary for them to focus on their families and the viability of their companies. We decided to scale back sales initiatives and focus on projects such as our virtual sales platform and our potentially altered future environment.
The Calyx executive team keeps us informed of daily operations and where we are on our pandemic crisis plan. They know that people can’t do their best work if they’re distracted by hardships, so they’ve made support available to employees. The best leaders manage admirably through a crisis, but it’s the exceptional ones who know that there’s a human being behind every square on an org chart. The execs at Calyx just get that.
Creating a Better Way
They also challenge us every day to create a better way. That’s our mantra for business but I recently discovered that it works for me personally too. My ten-year-old daughter was recently telling me about an art project while I was “multi-tasking” (aka half paying attention). A few minutes into the conversation she looked at me and, unable to hide her disappointment, said “Dad, you’re not even listening.”
Her reaction was an enlightening moment for me. I saw her hurt and also realized how subconsciously distracted I was. After sincerely apologizing, I helped her understand that my work issue had nothing to do with her value. What she had to say or what she does is very important to me. I assured her we would never have this conversation again.
The Importance of Effective Communications
As I was headed to my home office a few days later, my daughter stopped me once again and said “Dad, come look at this real quick.” I quickly went into auto-pilot and said “ok.” I then stopped and asked her what she actually wanted. She thought for a second and then told me that she made some bracelets and my looking at them would take less than five minutes. This effective communication allowed us to be present and enjoy a meaningful, small moment.
This crisis has helped me realize the importance of effective communications and that some of my focus has been on the wrong things—things that have the illusion of importance. I’m now more aware that there is always a better way in business—and in my personal life. You just have to have the courage and vulnerability to pursue it. In the words of the early 20th-century businessman, Thomas Dewar, “Minds are like parachutes: they only function when open.”
Stay safe and pursue a better way.