Guest post from Andrew Finlay, Head of Training at The Method
We’ve all probably attended some web-based meetings as part of our working lives, but eagerly defaulted to face to face interactions when we wanted to make the most impact or to engender ‘team spirit’.
Now that most of us are working remotely we can find ourselves communicating for work exclusively through virtual means. Not being accustomed to working from home, and getting into work mode from a space that’s not your regular one can, in itself, be a huge adjustment.
Whether you’re relegated to working from a spare bedroom or the kitchen table, it’s all too easy to feel ill prepared and unpractised in virtual meetings.
This is because we never learned this way of communicating and often don’t have the experience to support it. So we just need to learn the skills and flex some muscles we’ve not used before.
We’ve got this
This can be done, I promise! We can learn to look great on webcam. We can learn to communicate confidently, keep people engaged and ensure our message lands strongly even through the small lens and mic. We just need some guidance and practice to hone a new set of skills.
When coaching or speaking to clients I often suggest that they check in with themselves before, during and after a remote call. It’s a good discipline to get into when getting to grips with these, sometimes unfamiliar, set of skills. And it’s something that I also use regularly in my own virtual meetings.
Check-in with yourself
So ask yourself one or more of these questions, while you’re getting used to this new way of communicating:
“Am I coming across on camera as unengaged, distracted and falling into dull ramblings?”
“Am I visibly tiring after my fourth back-to-back meeting and am I having anywhere near the same amount of impact?”
“Why do I lack the confidence in making an impact virtually and to be as engaging and dynamic as when I was ‘on my feet’?”
Practice makes perfect
Keep practicing and checking in with yourself. Maybe we will become even more accomplished than we are in our face to face communications. Maybe we will leverage even better results. I for one am going to make every effort to make this transition through learning and flexing some new muscles.
Virtual Behaviour Change with The Method
If you or your team would like some extra help in your remote communications, our fantastic Virtual Behaviour Change programmes will provide a unique ability to practise and embed new skills and behaviours in the workplace wherever that might be. You can review the full set of programmes here, and if you have a specific learning and development request get in touch here. We’d love to help!