The coronavirus (COVID-19) has no doubt an effect on our communication and has forced us into a drastic experiment of virtual communication. Studies have shown that distributed teams can experience higher levels of conflict. Virtual meetings are sometimes perceived as less significant, or second class meetings.
Here are two strategies on how to manage engagement in a virtual video setting and get the most out of your time:
- Use your video and encourage others when possible.
- Check the positioning, the light, and test out the technology before your call.
- Have an agenda/plan for engagement.
- If we have a meeting in person, we take time for pleasantries/introductions. We need to do the same and have some small chat in the beginning before jumping into the business.
- If it is a group meeting, let people know that you will be asking as many people as possible for their thoughts. (Then make sure to follow up on that).
- Call someone’s name before asking them a question to avoid them being caught on mute and getting no response.
- When speaking, look into the camera on your computer for better engagement. This gives your audience the perception that you are looking directly at them which helps with engagement.
- Variety and surprise is our greatest tool for attention management whether in person or virtual. Ask a question, take a poll, or use the highlighter tool on the screen. Engage!
Virtual technology has been and will continue to grow as a valuable communication option, not just in crisis. Nothing can beat an in-person meeting but if we work on improving communication in virtual settings, it will allow global teams, professionals, and remote employees to see better results.
What works for your team? Is there anything we can do to support you?