Find One More Way to Improve Your Connection With Remote Team Members
There's always one more thing we can do that will improve what our impact at work.
Complaints with remote communication
When it comes to communicating with people at a physical distance, we hear complaints of:
too many long calls,
not getting enough details,
not easily accessing customers,
inability to get to know co-workers and
feelings of isolation.
Of course, there are also many things to appreciate about working from home:
better personal productivity,
being with your family, etc.
But no matter how much of a people-person you are, what one or two things can you do to make your communications even more engaging? Find the best one or two ways for you and use it as you can as soon as you can with as many colleagues as you can.
Use this list to select the items you aren’t already doing that hold the highest promise for better communicating with work team members. If you are already doing some of these, find a way to do it more often:
Arrive at group meetings (Zoom, etc.) early. If you are the leader and can manage it, open the space 30 minutes early if possible. If you are not the leader, come in as early as you can and prepare other things to do if you have to wait. Some of the best conversations occur before or after the meetings.
Seek a time to visit with people you’d like to know better. If there is a common interest or goal, send them a private chat or text during the meeting to set up a 10-minute phone call to discuss the issue.
Ask about and write down in a small notebook the details other people mention about their personal lives. Inquire more and bring up these details in another conversation (e.g. child in a sports championship, a remodeling project, a hobby). This sounds obvious, but most humans forget these details or think they shouldn’t pry. If they brought it up, it’s important to them.
Offer to help someone who mentions a problem that’s still unsolved. You can privately message them and offer to call them after the meeting.
Call and check in with your colleagues more regularly. Have more 5-minute conversations throughout each day, using the phone more often than online Slack or text messages. Connection by voice carries more bandwidth for responsiveness, as you hear the nuances in voice signals.
Add your own list of approaches you’ve been curious about and methods you observe used by colleagues with great skills. From the expanded list, select one or two you’d like to try.
Don’t wait. Just do it. And use it with everyone else you talk to today. And tomorrow. Make this practice a habit. Then look for another method to apply.