The technology we have is amazing because we can use it to bridge time zones and footprints. With that in mind, here are six quick tips to help step up your efforts when connecting and engaging with remote team members or clients:
When you're able to see the other person and engage as close to face to face without physically being in the same room, you'll get so much more out of the communication. You'll connect better and when you do meet in person, it will feel more comfortable because of the face to face chats you've already had.
#2 Share your screen
When you've got a document or web page to review, video can help here, too. Whether you share your screen during the face to face video or record a separate video going through the document or web page, you're able to connect your message more specifically and efficiently for the recipient.
This is the same idea as number one, but ideally it can supplement video, not...
There are so many ways we receive and send information.
Sometimes it can feel like information overload.
Like we talk “at” each other, not with.
I think we’re all guilty of that at times.
Like being on the phone, but still scrolling through the computer while you’re in the conversation.
Or allowing texts and calls that really aren’t important to interrupt a face-to-face conversation – virtual or in-person.
Or saying something without realizing that it could be received completely wrong and not because of what we said, but how we said it.
Each time distractions like that happen, they are communicating a message to the recipient. They are apparent to the other person and convey that you don’t care, no matter how much you really do.
Take a minute and think about how you’ve felt when that’s happened to you?
I know I don’t like it, and I’m guessing you don’t either.
This skill - communication - is so important...
Your clients and customers come to you for a reason.
They want a solution - whether it's to purchase the perfect gift for someone that you've created or a personal and deeper transformation that they want to experience so that they grow. They see your business as part of that solution, which means that the more you can grow in your business, the better you'll be able to serve your clients and the more rewarding it will be for both of you.
Here are some thoughts that resonated with me when I thought who I am for my clients:
What's the "so what?"
So what does that mean?
When I was in the corporate world, I led many high level visibility projects, including employee recognition events and company trade shows.
And for each of these events, I’d ask what was the “so what?”
To put it another way, if I were to tell my boss or someone who might be expected to attend this event about it, and if they answered “So what – why do I care or want to be there?” I wanted to be able to answer it.
It’s the why behind the event or project. It’s the reason the event or project is important to do and in some cases, the reason it is appropriate at that time.
It’s the reason why someone wants to be there – not has to because their boss is expecting them to attend. It’s the reason why one project takes priority over another project.
The “so what” answers the question “What’s in it for me?”
How to receive feedback, and let’s start with the definition of feedback - which is information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, which is used as a basis for improvement.
So with this definition – do you get a feeling that feedback is positive or negative?
Whatever that feeling is will show up in how you receive feedback about a given situation.
What I mean by this is – if you perceive feedback to be negative, then you’ll potentially be a bit more on the defensive when you receive it.
If, however, you perceive feedback as a way to enhance something you are working on such as your leadership practice or something you’re producing for your business or your organization – then you’ll be receptive to new ideas.
You may even feel that you’re supported because someone else is contributing either information, skills, or support to the success of your endeavor.
So the first thing to consider when receiving...
No matter if you're in the corporate world or running your own business, you're working with other people who have different skill sets from yours. The beauty in that is that's why you're working with them, or in some cases, hired them.
Or why someone hired you.
You bring a specific set of skills, talents, abilities, knowledge and gifts that only you could do. Just like each person you work with.
So when situations present themselves where you question what your expert says or does, remember why you hired them in the first place and seek to understand where they are coming from before jumping to any conclusions.
The saying about "knowing enough to be dangerous" is what's running through my mind because that can be a double edged sword. To know enough to be dangerous so that you can have a conversation and be wiling to say when you don't know and ask questions is great. Yet to know enough to be dangerous and not ask questions or assume you know more than you really do is setting...
This idea was inspired by a recognition approach from one of the organizations I was in back in the corporate world. We awarded baby playdough - you know the little ones you find in a party pack - to individuals who suggested creative, out of the box ideas to move our overall big picture vision forward. It didn't matter if the idea was implemented as much as it was rewarding the creativity and courage for sharing something different. We wanted to achieve something different and we knew the "same old, same old" type of thinking wouldn't help.
It's like Einstein said, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
In addition to shaping and sharing new ideas and thinking out of the box, I saw the playdough with a couple of other reminders. One was to detach from the outcome and be willing to start over when needed. Sometimes we can get so attached to an idea or thing that we can't let it go in order to make room for something better. Maybe that...
I had a college professor who explained during a lecture that there wasn't just one way to get somewhere. He said there was "the" way like there were many paths you could take to reach your vision or end goal and there was "thuh" way - meaning that there was only one way that would work and all the others were subpar or would even fail to achieve the desired goal.
And as I reflected on that lecture, I realized that this could apply to many things. For instance, in math there are a few ways to get to 10. Such as 5+5, 2+8, and 1+9.
We would all love the direct route, but what typically happens is the curvy, zig-zag path. You might have one way that you think it ought to be handled, but if you're working with a team and not fully leveraging what they are individually and collectively bringing to the table, then the vision will not be as full and impactful as it could be. By allowing your team the opportunity to offer...
It’s another start of the work week, and you think things are going great….until… things aren’t.
You get a voice mail or face to face encounter from a customer, vendor, or co-worker that is most unpleasant. This unhappy camper is frustrated and rather than focusing on the problem or situation at hand, it feels like an attack on you.
In the moment, it can be very difficult not to take the conversation personally. It can also be challenging to turn the conversation around to something more productive, but if you are able to, it will be well worth it.
So when you are in the heat of the moment, try these three tips to help you constructively and productively move the conversation forward.
What your gifts are – those things that really make you YOU – the more positive impact you can make for your team, organization or business.
And you may not be really clear what they are, but you look at your experiences, why people come to you and for what reason, what lights you up and what feels effortless and time goes so quickly, you’ll see breadcrumbs to help you identify them.
I remember being in the corporate world and working with my VP for a new recognition program. It needed to have a different approach and feel than anything done before. She gave me her vision in a few words, and I took that back and developed the concept, branding, process, and budget for it. When we regrouped, she said – you see the vision, and with a few parameters, create a viable product and deployment plan. That was one of my breadcrumbs.
As you are clear on your gifts and working from them, determine how you can take it a step further and enable your team or clients to do...
Showing up as the confident business leader you're meant to be is a transformation that starts on the inside, and the first step is shifting your mindset. Enroll in the free Leverage Your Potential mini course and start recognizing the leader within you today as well as receive weekly tips and encouragement to keep you going.