What a time to be alive!
The coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact on all of us. Thousands and thousands of people have lost their jobs and many self-employed workers’ incomes have taken a hit.
A lot of us thought there is a specific time allocation to us being under lockdown but as we are seeing this will continue for more than just 5 weeks. Even those who are now finding themselves back at the office, things may have changed dramatically for them as well. Working from home has become the norm for many, and employees at some companies have already been told this will carry on for at least the next two months.
Meanwhile, physical distancing measures are likely to remain for many more months and a whole swathe of events, from holidays to festivals to weddings, has been cancelled. And behind all of this is a virus that can be deadly. Here are some things that will definitely change as we look forward to the new normal
1. Workplaces will be safe and cleaner
Certain rules need to be put in place now for employees returning to work, such as staggered shifts, employee temperature checks, and top-to-bottom disinfections of workplace, tools, and machinery. CEO’s have implemented a variety of protocols to promote social distancing and employee health, a 100% mask and glove policy, and well-stocked handwashing stations, etc
2. Social distancing is the new norm
The current emphasis on social distancing at workplaces will likely continue even after the current health threat passes, 1.5 metres away, being at the office, retail store, grocery store, etc make sure you keep yourself 1.5 metres away from others.
3. Reduced costs
If you have a mortgage and have taken a three-month payment holiday, there are also other options available to borrowers, either now or at the end of the holiday. Two of the main ones are temporarily switching to interest-only payments and increasing the length of the mortgage term. Both will reduce your monthly payments but there’s a price to pay. For example, increasing the mortgage term will ultimately mean paying a lot more interest. Some may say they have saved on petrol costs and transport costs but are spending more on food as they are home.
4. Remote work will be more common
Forced to stay at home, many office employees have kept business operations running via remote work, relying on technology like videoconferencing, emailing, and texting to stay in touch. A recent study found that 74% of companies will move at least 5% of their office workforce to permanently remote and nearly a quarter of respondents said they will move at least 20% to permanently remote positions.
5. Demand for project types will change
The coronavirus outbreak has reshaped the types of projects that will be built this year and for many years to come. Hospitality, retail, and entertainment projects are likely to be in less demand while healthcare construction and healthcare-related manufacturing projects could see more activity, Experts are divided on how infrastructure initiatives will fare soon, with some noting that projects like road and bridge construction could suffer as countries revenue declines because of decreased fuel tax revenues and as Parliament turns its attention to COVID-19 mitigation measures for business and unemployed South Africans.
Isn’t it funny how we can sometimes be bad at something that we exercise on a daily, like communicating? Okay, so you might not be as bad as to not being able to communicate your thoughts or even get your point across when communicating with others, but there are some traits that you might lack which may leave you feeling slightly disempowered or overpowered by others. What I’m referring to is the ability to comprehensively articulate yourself. Some people are just better with words more than others. However, communication is a skill, a skill that some have mastered more than others, but it’s a skill that can be learned and improved by anyone.
It is estimated that, verbally, the average person speaks about at least 860.3 million words in their lifetime. It is also estimated that the average woman speaks about 20 000 words a day. That is 13 000 more words spoken than the average man. How can we possibly be bad at something that we are good at? Communication goes beyond the verbal articulation of our words; it is also the construction and the relaying of the message we wish to send across. It’s as simple as understanding words as a form of coding in which the receiver has to decode. If you think about it clearly, there are three aspects to this. There is the coder, the code, and the decoder. Anywhere in between the lines, the decoder could easily mistranslate the code, which was coded by the coder. Articulation, in this sense, would mean constructing the code in such a way that whoever decodes receives the message exactly as it was coded.
Communication is much about listening as it is about speaking. What most of us do not notice is that listening is an active skill, perhaps even more active than speaking. So for us to spectacular communicators, we also have to great listeners. There are ways in which we can improve our listening skills; we have to be active listeners. This would mean that we listen; we hold strong and constant eye contact, listen with our whole body, be alert, and avoid interrupting. Being an excellent listener would entail that we repeat what was said or make reference to what was said when speaking back. It also includes talking twice as less than listening. Being a great listener could largely improve your communication skills, simply by listening for the sake of listening and not listening for the sake of responding. We can all be guilty of this some times. We can hold on to thoughts that we want or feel we need to communicate that we forget to pay attention to all that is being said. It is easy to get trapped in one’s thoughts when listening. Hence, why you also need to work on being a great communicator so that you do not lose your audience when communicating with them.
Less is more when it comes to talking. You want to be clear and straight to the point, especially when explaining yourself, an idea, or a concept. In truth, people have a short listening span, so you want to catch and keep their attention and interest for as long as possible, but not for too long, of course. If possible clarify and summarize in this instance. Your tone is pivotal, but so is reading your audience and the environment. For example, giving an obituary at a funeral. Your tone needs to be set for the environment and circumstance, so you might not want to express too much exuberant energy during your speech as compared to pitching for funding for an idea you might have, which may require you to give more energy and excitement about your creative concept. Learn when to be empathetic, and learn how to follow instead of constantly leading.
Asking questions while speaking is a great way to keep anyone on track and on par with you and your thought flow. If engaged in a conversation and you wish to take the conversation deeper, simply ask open-ended questions. This would lead the other speaker to think and communicate much deeper than when asking closed-ended questions in which one can only respond with a yes/no answer. Are you asking the right questions? The questions you ask will determine how well of a listener you are. If you’re still trying to figure out the direction of the conversation, simply start with an easy question with an open-ended flow, however, avoid asking too many easy questions as this can lead to dead ends, and you might have not thought of your next question by then. A great way to kick off such conversations is by playing the guessing game (“let me guess”), and just watch the conversation flow on its own.
Gaining the trust of others when talking or communicating with them is an important aspect of being a great communicator. Developing trust is an indication of people’s genuine interest in what’s being said. Great ways to initiate this is by using people’s first names often and being present whilst talking. Gaining someone’s trust simply means that you have the ability to share your thoughts, feelings, and ideas on a particular subject and your opinion becomes valid to those individuals. It means that you now have the power to change the course of other people’s thoughts and beliefs, a power that many great leaders and communicators possess.
AUTHOR: LESEGO TLHABI
PUBLISHED: 4 SEPTEMBER 2019
PUBLISHER: JONATHAN BALL
GENRES: HUMOUR, FICTION, PARODY
GIRL BOSS RATING: 4,2/5
Coconut Kelz also known as Lesego Tlhabi is a comedian using her platform to discuss pressing issues in SA. She is highly misunderstood by a lot of South Africans because her style is different. However, if you’ve been following her on the socials, you’ll understand she is a satirical comedian.
GUIDE TO SURVIVING THIS SHITHOLE, HILARIOUS! Coconut Kelz is a young Caucasian woman trapped in a black woman’s body. Her place of safety is Sandton and literally makes sure she stays within that area. She strongly supports the DA and follows their political standpoint. This book is a great way to shed light on the racial and class tensions in South Africa. It also can teach those who turn a blind eye to racism to wake up and smell the coffee, racism still exists in South Africa.
Her guide touches on:
- Why you should stay in the suburbs, the perfect suburb and how to host your fellow suburban neighbours.
- How to catch the perfect white man, in perfect white spaces and emphasis on speaking eloquently by elongating your vowels.
- What is in your lunchbox and are you about that Woolworths water life.
- Her favorite political parties and why they are so important.
- Lastly, tips on how to not to pass the line of caucus (have a read if you’d like to know what that is).
How did I feel about this book?
I enjoyed this book, I think it’s really worth the read. I enjoyed how it sheds light on social and political problems in South Africa. So, if you are someone who isn’t really clued up on politics, this will teach you a lot. It also highlights so much about white privilege and how some white people shy away from that reality “No, come on, man, it has been 25 years. They must get over it” and “ I’m not being racist, but…”.
So whilst many black South Africans take offence to Kelz, she is actually holding a mirror to white privilege and the advantages white South Africans have, and yet they complain the most. And perhaps challenges black people to actually do something about the white privilege that they continue to enjoy!
It is refreshing and about time that we have a young, black, female comedian that is killing it. I think that to a certain extent she is catching a lot of flack because she is female, and South Africans need to get used to a young, black, female comedian. She is definitely pushing boundaries and being a #GirlBoss
Go buy it and support local. You won’t be disappointed. It retails for R200 at Exclusive Books.