Communication in Isolation: How Calls Can Build Community
Over the last few months, pretty much all of our daily work routines were disrupted. We’ve been forced to adapt and create new ways of successfully completing projects. While making the best of a bad situation, I have picked up a few skills and techniques that I will apply going forward. One very positive change has been an attempt at more open, direct communication with customers and coworkers as opposed to impersonal email exchanges.
First of all, direct calls or video meetings help to build a sense of community when working together. When in the office, we get to see and interact with coworkers daily. Obviously that luxury has not been recently available. I know we can all appreciate the personal connection when we actually interact with someone, so this method of communication offers a bit of what we miss from when we were able to be together in the office. The same feeling can be applied with our customers. As we work together with them on a project, it’s good to build a personal relationship when possible. They have also likely had their work life standard thrown out the window and would appreciate the bit of normalcy that comes with seeing and talking with another person.
Secondly, calls and video meetings can lead to clearer and more productive conversations. As opposed to an email chain, it’s a lot easier to understand what someone really wants when we are able to talk it through together. This results in less undue confusion and a stronger sense of collaboration. Multiple projects that I’ve been working on have switched to more regular conversations with customers and they are all better off for it. Both sides of the conversation have had an easier time understanding where the other is coming from, leading to less surprises and miscommunication as projects progress.
Even when everything returns to normal, I will try and maintain this more direct communication whenever possible. Although it is a bit more time consuming, the positive results make it worth it. Have you also found this to be the case? What techniques have you found while working from home that you think will help you going forward?
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