The majority of your communication is virtual. Whether your tool of choice is text, email, phone, Skype or video conference, you rely on virtual communication to connect with others and get things done.
Although you may be very experienced at virtual communication, how effective are you? Does the purpose and intent of your message get received and acted upon?
Here are some tips to consider which will increase the effectiveness of your virtual communication:
– Be QUICK – Information travels quickly but not necessarily accurately. To avoid confusion and efficiency losses due to multiple information sources, share correct information quickly and then to follow-up and ensure that the information is both received and understood. Increasing speed to conversation will ensure your virtual communication is more effective.
– Be CLEAR – When people can’t see you and you are communicating virtually, the selection of words is even more important. Use words that everyone understands and that convey the meaning that you intend. Don’t expect people to read between the lines about what needs done. Be clear about the results that need to be accomplished. Spell out your expectations so that they are well understood.
– CONNECT – there are two dimensions to connectedness and virtual communications
1. Connect the Dots – make sure that people have the full context of what’s being communicated. Too many times there are fragments of information shared which results in fragmented understanding. Take time to “connect the dots” by giving people context and be explicit about what you mean.
2. Connect with People – whenever possible incorporate a “getting to know you” component into your conversations and meetings. This helps establish trust by connection. We like to ask fun questions at the start of a conference call which breaks the ice and covers the awkward time when people are still joining the call. You can also use pictures and biographical information to bring your virtual colleagues to life.
Increase the effectiveness of your virtual communication by being quick (share what you know quickly) and clear (complete information using simple words.) Don’t forget to connect the dots (with context) and the conect with the people to take your virtual communication to new levels of impact