Let’s face it: over the past six months, the world has been turned on its head. From grandmothers to entrepreneurs, everyone has been forced to reckon with new forms of communication and networking. So whether you’re instant messaging or conducting video business conferences, it’s important to communicate clearly, be respectful, and make yourself understood.
Since our new reality likely won’t change dramatically for the next while, it’s critical to understand how to conduct business over the web. Your working relationships depend on it, and the future success of your business hangs in the balance.
How to Optimize Your Virtual Communication
1. Use the Best Technology
Virtual communication is manifold: it’s emailing, instant messaging, conference calls, video chats, and one-on-one check-ins. While all these methods are effective, video calls have the benefit of allowing us to pick up on non-verbal cues. Eye contact and body language are extremely telling, especially in group settings. When choosing modes of communication, first, know what works best for your team. Then, choose the best technology for the scenario. Lastly, make sure your team has the right tools and knows how to use them.
2. Time It Right
Timing is two-pronged: first, be sure to set a schedule for communication with your employees or coworkers. By having a designated time or day for meetings or check-ins, you cultivate a sense of routine, and your team will get into a flow. Second, when you’re in the meetings themselves, it’s vital to stay on track. Respect everybody’s time, and use it wisely. Create an agenda or itinerary to help you stay focused.
3. Be Considerate
This is a difficult time for everyone, so be conscious of how your team may be feeling. While technology helps to bring you together, it isn’t a substitute for real-life interaction. Members might be feeling isolated, and the energy might be different. Understand that, while you may be meeting together, you can’t always see what’s going on behind the scenes. Be patient, listen, ask questions, and be available to answer them too. Take the time to understand and don’t jump to conclusions. Your team will be grateful for it.
4. Be Goal-Oriented
Virtual work and communication make it difficult to create momentum. What projects are urgent? What are the timelines? And how should you approach these tasks as a team? Help your employees by tracking progress. Assign measurable objectives and set milestones with actionable items along the way. Update your team regularly, so everyone is on the same page.
5. Open and Honest
Keeping open, clear lines of communication does wonders for both team building and achieving your goals. Well-informed employees are set up to perform well. It’s essential that your team feels heard and that they can express themselves and offer input. As a leader, you must communicate openly with them and allow them to do the same. You might be surprised how it can improve interpersonal relationships – not to mention team morale and efficiency!
Virtual communication can be tricky, but you can make your team’s transition to the web virtually seamless with patience, planning, and understanding.
For professional, flexible office support when you need it, Lakeside Executive Suites is here to help. Reach out today, and let’s talk about what we can do for you.