There has never been a more crucial time for honesty, openness, empathy and transparency.
Skills in the bridging technique have been a media training must have for every business leader, politician, sports person and so on and in every media training manual for decades.
If you’re not familiar with the term bridging it’s where you straddle any unhelpful question to deliver a response that you want to give. So for example when asked a question that is not on message or that you don’t have the answer to you respond with something like “I don’t have the answer but what I can tell you is this – then you move on to what you wanted to say and you’re back on message.
This is not what people want right now. Your audience wants you to be yourself and use empathy. If you don’t know, be honest, say you don’t and explain why. It shows that you’re real. Think about your audience, what they are worried about and what questions they may have, then do your best to provide answers.
Here are 8 tips for communicating during this crisis
1 Show empathy, these are worrying times so acknowledge that.
2 Be real, you are human too.
3 Think about what it is you want to achieve from the interview.
4 Always prepare.
5 Tell people what actions and decisions you have taken.
6 If you don’t want to answer a question that’s fine. Just explain why.
7 Be as honest and transparent as you can.
8 If you don’t know the answer don’t waffle your way through. Find the person within the organisation who does know the answer and say you’ll get back on that one.