It’s been a year of virtual meetings with our technologies helping and sometimes failing us. We’ve changed hairstyles, make-up, and clothing to look better in our virtual “Muppets” or “Brady Bunch” squares on flat screens. We’ve upgraded headshots – or we leave just our names on “no video” screens. Introverts have decided “I was born for THIS world” and extroverts are DONE with it and ready to meet in-person again.
Hybrid meetings work, yet best-possible decision-making and communication doesn’t happen when people are not able to interact directly with each other in person. Hybrid work demands improved communication skills. When people aren’t able to, or don’t, have video on, ALL body language clues are lost to meeting leaders who end up feeling like they are communicating into a void.
Assess your own virtual and hybrid meeting participation. Are you being present? Are you participating as effectively as you can? As effectively as your career needs you to be?
More in-person meetings are starting to happen. As you return to in-person meetings, be aware of how life has changed – of how you have changed. Some in-person meeting participants recently said to their team-mates: “I feel like I’ve lost my social skills”; “I forgot what it is like to have someone looking me in the eye.”; “I’m finding that I liked being just one of many squares on a screen, able to do other things while others were talking.”; and “Being in person demands that I be MORE present.”
Life HAS changed. The ways in which we interact HAVE changed. Now we are faced with real human interaction decisions about how we as individuals want to, and will, engage with other human beings. No, not masks/no-masks or even vaccine/no-vaccine. This is about how we communicate with each other – or don’t. This is about how we will solve problems going forward. This is about how we will clarify misunderstandings and unmet expectations going forward.
What are your teams ready to tackle? Are your communication approaches strong enough to achieve the tasks, goals, and hopes before you?
For in-person reconnecting meetings, discussions or planning sessions, call master facilitator Jana Kemp: 208-367-1701
As the author of seven books, in seven languages, Jana has been interviewed by U.S., Canadian, and European programs, and magazines. Her presentations have been seen in the United States and India by international audience members.
Workplace – the Blog: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. Together we can find working solutions.