This is a time like none other we’ve known. Many of us are adjusting to working remotely and have more time than usual with some family members. The convenience of proximity and the convenience of working remotely can each undermine connection if we are not intentional to consider the Power of the Medium.
Non-verbals matter. Facial expression, body posture, and tone of voice – these all give context to our words. When family or team members cannot see or hear you, they are left to guess. At their best, written mediums like email or text, have a small fraction of in-person communication’s effectiveness. They may work well-enough when information needs to be shared, but they under-perform at supporting relationship – professionally and personally.
Because it allows your tone to be heard, talking via phone is better than written communication. We can hear empathy and concern. We can hear disappointment and fear. Verbal communication allows for timely dialogue, not merely an exchange of responses. This back-and-forth communication allows for greater connection.
Video chat is even better. It allows you to see and be seen. It is less convenient than texting or calling – and the extra effort pays off. Family and team members know if they have your attention. They can see care on your face. Video chat is a good second-best when circumstances keep us at a distance.
Most of us cannot be physically present with team members, but we are with family at home. The question is, are we truly present? At times, are we giving them our undivided attention? Person-to-person, face-to-face, heart-to-heart? During this time of increased proximity, take advantage of the opportunity to be present. It is the gold standard for connection.
I wish you well during this unique time. I hope you find creative ways to thrive. May you stay in good health – physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally, spiritually, and financially. If you’d like to video-chat, I welcome you to schedule a time.