Communicate When There’s Turbulence

by | Apr 25, 2024 | Leadership

Understanding when turbulence is coming and communicating that to your team is important.   

Recently, I was on a flight to the UK. As we took off, the pilot announced that we would experience turbulence over the ocean. They knew it would be a bit of a bumpy flight, and it was. I always feel comforted when the pilot informs us ahead of time because then I know it’s not a surprise and feel like they are prepared for it.  

Unexpected turbulence makes me nervous, especially when you’re thousands of feet in the air and you feel a drop or a shake, unsure of what’s happening. Suddenly, the seat belt lights come on, and the flight attendants tell everyone to sit down, and you have no idea how long it will last. I feel much better when they know it’s coming and they tell us.   

As leaders, we can learn from this. In our organizations, especially if you’re part of a growing organization like Service Express, you will experience turbulence. It’s never a smooth flight all the time. If it is, you might not be growing or trying new things. As leaders, we should anticipate turbulence, whether it’s a software release, a new strategy, or a big change within the organization. Communicating potential turbulence to our teams helps them understand, expect and prepare for it, which makes everything much smoother.   

If we don’t set these expectations and just implement a change, people can become upset and unnerved when things get bumpy. So, like pilots who inform passengers about upcoming turbulence, we should communicate with our teams during challenging times. Explain that we expected these challenges and describe our plan to navigate through them. This approach will lead to smoother sailing ahead. Try this and let me know what you think.  

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About Me

I am the President & CEO of Service Express, a National Best & Brightest Company to Work For. Service Express has averaged double digit growth every year since 2001.

We attribute our success to a unique corporate culture that we call The Service Express Way. I am a member of the Young President Organization and sit on the Board of the Spectrum Health Foundation.