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  • Brigitte Opel

Wish you were here....


Virtual Communication - it's become a new reality. Meetings, family gatherings, happy hour have turned into computer-driven events. Forget the monitoring of teenagers’ screen time, they're home-schooling! 

Clearly, we'd all prefer face-to-face meetings. Meeting online with clients and colleagues to discuss business proposals, price negotiations or strategic decisions is new for most of us.

Besides learning the technology, we must also take into consideration how the other person communicates, what gets his attention and buy-in and what gets him angry?Building trust virtually is difficult, we must follow the usual rules:

-       Be transparent: clear and precise messages

-       Be reliable: do what you promise

-       Be consistent: check your message on contradictions

-       Be personal: specify your own opinion vs. general statements

These are guidelines we’ve all heard before and have applied for years.

If our clients and colleagues are on a different continent, there’s an additional set of rules we need to take into consideration: 

-       Develop a relationship, get to know each other

-       Develop rapport by being generous with compliments and information

-       Develop a safe space for your communication, technically and personally

-       Develop a regular communication exchange so that issues and questions can be addressed

That sounds trivial but is very important when your request is challenged by a manager’s instruction who is just sitting down their corridor. Make sure that the colleague in India, Columbia, Egypt feels comfortable enough to mention that dilemma to you. And that you feel comfortable enough to discuss a possible solution together. That’s a situation that requires a lot of trust on both sides. And there are many more. 

Can you do it?

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