The basis of communication is always the same: ensuring that your message is received and properly ensuring you have received a message. Effective communication is knowing how to adapt your own method style to that of your receivers. Effective communication is understanding how to look for nonverbal cues. It is understanding how others process information.
People are utilizing virtual platforms more than ever to convey their messages. Do you feel this has made communicating harder? How do you reach through across a satellite to fully connect with others? How many shared communication aspects are virtual and in-person?
While there can be more distractions when working remotely and connecting with others virtually, focus is not a new issue. In-person, we have cell phones, outside hustle, office phones… whatever. We still have these distractions at home, just a little different. Minimizing background distractions and silencing technology notifications helps you to retain better focus while helping to keep the focus of those listening to you.
2. Speak clearly.
Just like in person, it is important to speak clearly and with a confident voice (resisting the urge to speak loudly). Tonal inflection helps to drive a point across. Bueller’s teacher is not conducive in person or online. Record yourself to find out how you talk. Be cautious of how you are ending your sentences. If it sounds like you’re constantly asking questions, it can be difficult for people to pick up when you actually do.
3. Pay attention.
Keep an eye out for nonverbal cues. While this is more difficult virtually, you can still tell when someone is not at all interested or distracted. And you can tell just from the facial cues when they truly understand you or are lost. The quizzical brow… Wide eyed… Sudden flushed face… a monster yawn… the eye roll. And like in person, you also have to take other factors into consideration. A flushed face can mean embarrassment, anger, or that something really hit home. A monster yawn can be a rough night of sleep or extreme boredom.
4. Check your connection.
Most internet providers have been strained with the increased use, as well as virtual platform servers. Some of us don’t have many options for internet providers. Maybe try minimizing what is draining your use while having meetings. See if the virtual platforms are upgrading their servers and select the best one to use.
5. Repeat what others are telling you
Possibly repeating what the other has said or asked, using different words. When you do so, it ensures that you are understanding what they are saying. This is crucial in person as well. If it’s a group meeting, this can also help others to understand as well.
What do you think about effectively communicating virtually? How different is it really from communicating in-person?
Are there other tricks you would like to share?
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