Since many of us are currently working from home due to the global pandemic, we’re usually communicating virtually.  One of the more popular virtual platforms in use is Zoom.  Only problem is that instead of using our encounters to zoom in we often tend to zone out.  While I hope that’s not your experience, it’s all too common in the business world.  The good news is you can avoid this communication dilemma by adhering to a few guidelines, which include asking yourself:

  1. What can I contribute to this virtual meeting?  Ideally, you’ll receive an agenda, which you’ll want to review in advance.  By doing so, you can predetermine what ideas you have that will add value to those who are attending.  It’s your job to “bring something” to any meeting.
  2.  How do I handle distracting thoughts? Having an intermittent thought or feeling that takes you away from the virtual meeting is quite normal. Best way to counteract this is to keep a pad and pencil nearby so you can jot down these thoughts/feelings and return to them at a more convenient time.  By writing them down you can “let them go” safely vs. forget them.
  3. When is it okay to ask questions? You have permission to ask the group (or the other person) a question if it will help you get back on track.  Questions are generally welcome if they’re designed to probe, clarify, or get a different perspective on a topic.  You may even want to write down a few questions in advance as part of your preparation.  These questions may be useful or lead to more in depth questions to pose.
  4.  How well do I bridge ideas?   When you’re ready to add to the conversation, start by linking your comments to a remark you’ve just heard.  This shows you’re listening to others and making a relevant response.  When we bridge our ideas to what another person has said, it makes a stronger focus and establishes a meaningful connection.
  5.  What’s the value of recognizing people?  When we say  “Thank you for….” it shows we’re paying attention, respecting contribution by others, and reiterates an important point.  Most of all it brings a group closer so we don’t feel as isolated.

As we have our virtual meetings, let’s decide right now that rather than zoning out, our goal is to zoom in.  We’ll all benefit from this communication strategy and may opt to use it regularly.

If you’d like more assistance with this topic, let me know and I’ll be happy to help you (518-664-6004).