One of my favorite vacations is to rent a lakefront house in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York.
It’s a pretty big challenge to pack up and make the five-hour drive but as far as I’m concerned, it’s well worth the effort. The mornings are perfect for paddling in my kayak. During the day, there are hiking and biking trails to explore, not to mention wineries to visit. And in the evenings, sunset dinners make it easy to linger lakeside for nightly bonfires.
Here’s the unusual part: I live on a lake in the mountains of New Jersey. That’s right, every day I wake up with a lake and mountains right in my backyard.
So why, you might ask, would I go through all the trouble of loading up my car and traveling to another lake with kayaks, bikes and two Jack Russells in tow?
To gain a new perspective. When I’m home, my attention is focused on my daily chores. There’s always another room to clean or load of laundry to do before I can jump on my paddleboard.
But when I’m up in the Finger Lakes, I’m freed from my daily routine, so I’m open to a whole new perspective. I speak with the people who live there year round to find out their insights on where to go and what to do. And I slow down to really savor the experience of lake living.
Swapping your normal scenery for new vistas is also a great way to develop a new perspective on internal communication. It helps you see your channels from a different angle. More importantly, it gives you the opportunity to hear different voices from every level of your organization.
So, make a change—large or small—and see how your outlook on internal communication changes. For instance:
- Holed up in your office? Sit in a common area and observe how employees interact with your posters, digital signs or bulletin boards.
- Always talking to senior leaders? Host some coffee chats in the cafeteria to hear what rank-and-file employees are most concerned about.
- Stuck in corporate headquarters? Visit a manufacturing site and write about your interactions with frontline employees.
- Never leave the United States? Grab your passport and head to an office in another country for some insight on international employees’ needs.
Whether swapping seats or changing countries, you’re bound to come back with a fresh perspective that will help you connect with employees.