Oh, how we chuckled…
When that little girl burst through the door and bundled in on her dad during a live BBC News broadcast with her dad.
Celebrity chefs give us light-hearted relief by catching tea towels alight on live morning television as they too battle with the ‘work from home’ world.
The nation has seen more live home-schooled cameos during conference calls than ever. And working from home, if you can, is a carbon footprint reducing solution that’s here to stay.
It can be a bit isolating though
So remember to check-in with one another. Take a moment to think of your team and clients and ask how they’re doing.
Make time to talk about their life away from work and ask about their family or pets to build bonds that will bring you closer. Plus it will help when their family (or pets) inevitably gatecrash a call in future.
What’s wrong with keeping in touch by email?
Emails are efficient and convenient but can be very impersonal.
We communicate with others using our voices, intonations and language, our bodies and our eyes. Over email, we are stripping 4 of those mediums of communication out, leaving us with just words on a screen.
However poetic your word skills, tone can be hard to convey in text. So where possible, video call or FaceTime. Skype, Zoom and Google Meet (Hangouts) are all free to use.
However, it’s not always possible or convenient for everyone. So here are six tips on improving your communication when you can’t get any face to face action.
😀 #1 Use emojis
No, we’re not trying to be cool, we’ll use them appropriately. But they can be a fantastic way to convey emotion when we can’t speak face-to-face.
👍🏼 #2 Assume positive intent
Especially now when we lack many of those mediums for communication, to keep ourselves sane and our relationships healthy, assume positive intent. If a message reads a bit off or something feels not right, read it assuming the best possible interpretation and get on a call with the person to clarify.
🎓 #3 Over clarify
When not face-to-face, explain what you’re asking or what you want as though you were speaking with a 5-year-old…from Mars. Like we assume positive intent, we should also assume complete ignorance. Remember to explain why you’re doing something or asking someone to do it.
📍#4 Be succinct
While not wanting to skimp on the clarity, it’s just as important not to waffle on. Nothing makes the shoulders sag quite like a very lengthy email. So include all the details, but be succinct. Be as clear as possible without using unnecessary words.
👁 #5 Give it one last read
There are some benefits to email over telephone of course. Documenting what has been said to avoid misunderstanding springs to mind. But one of the main benefits is the opportunity to rework what you’ve said.
Don’t waste the chance to re-read and edit your message to make it better. Everyone’s in a rush but one good email can save time in the long run. After editing, be sure to give it one last proofread. Oh, and don’t forget to actually attach that attachment.
⏱ #6 Be patient
Things may take slightly longer than before. If something is particularly urgent, then maybe right now email is perhaps not the best approach (if it ever was). A phone call would be better, as you will have the opportunity to first learn about their workload and headspace, before asking for help with yours.
So whether emailing, calling or video conferencing, the winners will be clear, kind and compassionate. Ironically, the best technology helps us be more homo sapien.
Warts and all, the human side of doing business has elbowed its way to the front unapologetically and it’s a beautiful thing. That said, we’re all still keen to look our best.
No, we don’t mean the touch-up setting on your video conferencing app, nor are we referring to Tom Ford’s now infamous tips! Fabric video call backdrops can help add some professional Whoosh to your Zoom.
Stay safe and take care of each other.
Looking to prepare for the New Normal? Download our free guide.