Consider the professional story you communicate when you either are a spectator or an active virtual participant during meetings. After all, humans are hard-wired to use all of their senses to size up a situation. And vision best allows us to connect to our environments.
How do you create virtual employee experiences and client experiences?
By now, you have developed your own set of virtual participation habits. How you show up, during virtual meetings, sets up sensory expectations about your level of post-meeting engagement and performance. You clearly communicate your professional story, whether you are consciously aware you are storytelling, or not. You engage the senses: yours and the other folks attending the virtual presentation. And, perhaps, receiving the recording of that presentation later on.
Consider this. Attendees initially engage by listening to and visualizing-imagining-interpreting the significance and relevance of what is being (hopefully successfully) communicated. That is, with all due respect, if they are not hearing-impaired. Otherwise, you have conscientiously chosen close-captioned tools to enable this important dynamic.
Then, as attendees listen to and visualize, they also look at you, the speaker. That is, with all due respect, if they are sighted individuals. And you, the speaker, gaze back at them. By involving as many senses as you are capable of during virtual meetings and conference calls, you become a more active participant. Otherwise, the only professional story you perhaps unintentionally communicate to the speaker and other attendees is that you are a background lurker, disengaged multi-tasker and spectator.
When you choose to be either a spectator or an active virtual participant during virtual meetings, you unconsciously telegraph the importance you place on that meeting. Not only that. You also signal to the host and attendees how you prioritize their importance. Put yourself in the shoes of everyone sitting around that virtual table, together. They are counting on your voice, vision and insights to help them get to where they need to go. Together. One millimeter at a time.
Which skills and mindset do you need to develop to level-up your cross-functional team leadership? You have a virtual opportunity to work on upskilling and cross-skilling for What’s Next in the Future of Work.
When I host virtual presentations, I pay attention to how attendees initially prefer to show up. How I can leverage my message and content to move audio-only attendees one millimeter beyond what is professionally comfortable? So they turn on their video and become more fully present with everyone on the call.
Once people plug in visually, as well as via audio, their engagement level increases exponentially. In addition, commenting via chat incorporates not only sight, sound, but also a third sense: touch.
- I understand that perhaps you are an introvert and find video attendance intimidating.
- Or, since employers and clients now schedule virtual meetings 24/7, you draw a professional line in the virtual sand at some point during the day. Audio-only attendance becomes a plea for virtual privacy.
- Then again, you feel you will be judged by others because of your casual attire or your home office, which may be a kitchen table. You are not alone. Perhaps your pet or child also needs your presence. Give yourself permission to move another millimeter forward: come as you are. Invite your pets and children to join in.
During my last virtual workshop last week, I held up the furry bedroom slippers I wore. The next time I speak live and in-person, I’m wearing my fuzzy slippers, too. 😉
Ask yourself about whether you are a spectator or an active virtual participant in meetings. And, during in-person meetings, as well.
The quality of the business outcomes we co-create together is a function of how fully present and in the virtual moment we are, together. We are all in this together. Because traditional workplace behaviors and habits of comparing and competing with each other are falling away. And not too many of us look forward to going “back” to old-school models and mindset which hold us back from moving forward.
Let’s move forward to work, together. Because we have important problems to address and solutions to create together. One millimeter at at time. Contact me to learn more about bringing one of my virtual keynotes, workshops and presentations to your next meeting. Let’s get to where we need to go. Together!
My One Millimeter Mindset™ storytelling programs translate across communication disconnects between people and professional disciplines. Build trust as you wrestle with today’s continuously changing, Internet of Things technical, regulatory and professional environments. Optimize strategic business and human capital value in your organizations. Get everyone to where they need to go. Together. One millimeter at a time. My playbook of communication tools and methods, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
Image source: Adobe Stock.