Over the last week or so I have been fully immersed in delivering ‘Communicating with Impact’ workshops within corporate organisations. I’ve also been having LOTS of discussions with other companies from pharma to finance to retail and I’m hearing the same thing come up time and time again.
The new normal is creating some side effects.
In virtual meetings, team members are disengaged and absent. Cameras are off, the chat box is silent, and audio input is severely lacking.
Ensuring messages and information is received and acted upon is becoming increasingly more difficult.
Leaders are struggling to create a psychological connection and the feeling of psychological safety through change based virtual briefings and forums.
Productivity and general well being is suffering through a lack of physical connectedness.
Meetings and presentations are becoming tedious due to delivery of ‘dry data.’
Can you relate or know someone who can?
If you are a leader, manager, business owner or employee, here are some tips to help:
1.Have a regroup on your verbal comms
Take some time out to regroup on your comms strategy. Look at the purpose of your online meetings, briefings and presentations and tighten them up with a do, dump or do differently policy.
Do – Carry on as you are. These meetings are essential and are already delivered with maximum engagement and input in mind.
Dump – Any meetings for meetings sake can be dumped. Simples.
Do differently – Think about how a normal zoom or teams meeting can be delivered differently. Could you bring in another comms channel for this? Such as internal text/chat forums, WhatsApp groups, even telephone calls! The format of video meetings can also be changed to ensure time for fun, time for reflection and non-video/audio time (to avoid self gaze/virtual burnout.)
2. Get creative with delivery
I recently attended a virtual expo using some amazing software called MeetYoo. It was refreshing and engaging and used chat, breakouts, keynote auditoriums and lunch and learn rooms to enrich the whole experience. How could your meetings and presentations be delivered differently? You might want to ban slides or create different types of virtual forums for people to get together, with specific purposes.
3. Create space for non-work openness
Disconnection and burn out is so rife because it seems every virtual get together is business-focused. One company has arranged a whole suite of non-work forums and solutions to help people open up, share their thoughts and feelings, have fun and engage their minds and bodies. I mentioned my amazing client Sarah Hunt recently who is providing virtual wellbeing sessions for employees. There are also some fantastic solutions emerging around game-based simulations, role play and real play to help people come together and re-engage.
4. Mitigate burn out and disengagement
Having clear agreed principles for meeting ‘best practice’ can help mitigate disengagement and burn out. Agreeing when video can be on and off when chat-based communication is preferred, and encouraging changes in the home environment for maximum productivity can all help to ward off negative side effects of virtual working.
5. Sprinkle some magic
Add impact and oomph to your verbal communication by using video, media, images, sounds and stories. Swap out dry data and lengthy text and the results can be quite astounding!
6. Give your teams the tools they need
Would you like to give your teams the tools to be able to increase the impact of their virtual communication? I am currently running my 3 hours ‘communicating with impact – the power of stories’ workshop which introduces experiential-based approaches and practical tools that leaders and employees alike can put into practice straight away to add some magic to their verbal comms. The result? Increased engagement and productivity, enhanced well being and more fun! If you’d like to have a chat about how I can help you and your teams then just hit reply and we can get something in the diary.
The new normal CAN be engaging and exciting! It just needs a little magic.