It’s super easy to notice what doesn’t work. In other mediums, like a concert or play, we notice when the lighting is bad and may even share a complaint under our breath to our fellow concert goer or on social media. We don’t often notice when it’s working well. When lighting works well, we tend to take it for granted. When it doesn’t, we feel obligated to mention it. Many elements of our lives work this way – virtual communication is one of them. Either we blame it directly or we make it the reason other things didn’t work out.
In the virtual world, we could experience an excellent meeting. We’re grateful and don’t necessarily think about the platform we were on. But if the meeting goes poorly, usually the virtual platform is blamed immediately. And honestly, the virtual elements might very well be a contributor as virtual communication can often make it difficult to clearly share thoughts and ideas. But there are so many elements of virtual platforms that make communication easier and more efficient, so we have to be careful when we use it as a scapegoat.
It is essential to notice what is working well in our virtual connections. It could be the set-up, our mindset or our reframe that has us looking for what is effective, useful and good in each situation. It’s important that we at least try. Focus on how to make it better instead of spiraling into the complaint abyss. That vortex can suck us in and if we have any fellow virtual colleagues on our journey, it moves even faster and farther. So first, acknowledge that virtual communication is part of our world at least for the foreseeable future and enter with the attitude of “what works – and how do we make it better?”
Virtual communication is essential in our world. That’s the given.
It’s often too easy to vent about the hassles of it. I can catch myself doing it as well. And with a slight adjustment of perspective we can assess what is odd and difficult about it in order to note the elements that are assets. Let’s grab onto what works even better or more easily in the virtual world.
Also good to remember that some people enjoy virtual. I taught a class the other night and met a woman who much prefers virtual meetings to in-person meetings. She feels confident and happy when communicating virtually. Great reminder of the benefits and of our different perspectives.
A few things I’ve found to be grateful for in virtual communication (you add yours):
- Saves travel time and money
- Can have a shorter meeting without it being rude.
- Ability to meet/connect across time zones is super helpful.
- Able to join even when on site at other clients or events – even for only part of the session/meeting
- Super efficient if run well.
- Super easy to schedule in tight time slots
- Super easy to have a quick face to face – yes to the video!
- Keeps it about business when that boundary is important.
- Communicate more comfortably from our own space.
- An ease with only having to have our voice or face be present.
- Can be with each other and present even if a bit tired when we would have had to cancel an in-person meeting.
- Different dress is accepted – depending on the meeting
- Can watch face and non-verbals.
- Can easily record the meeting for later reference.
- Take notes more easily than in person – but careful of loud keyboards.
- If on individual computers, can see slide content more easily.
- Can quickly look up word/term definitions of which you are unsure and/or answers to questions being asked.
In the virtual world of phone, webinars, meetings, etc. – it’s easy to point out what fails us when compared to in-person sessions. Let’s remember to balance these points with what works better. And then adjust whatever we can to rock our virtual communication.
What works for you? What’s an asset of virtual communication on which you rely?
Stay tuned for Virtual Communication Parts 2&3!
Part 2: Use Your Voice Intentionally
Part 3: Bravely Play By Rules That Really Work