How well are you listening in conversations these days? With Zoom fatigue becoming a term that gets thrown around a lot, I’m curious to ask, what do you notice when you are on streaming calls with your communication, and listening in particular?
In the remote space our visual cues are limited to the small 2x3 window we can see people in. Literally their shoulders up.
Having led calls on Zoom for the last five years, and since 2004 (and earlier) on other virtual platforms, it’s likely that we are listening in for a couple of things:
The tone. The pace. The pitch.
Energy of the call – The next call you are on, notice the energy of the call. This is not just with the speaker, but also with everyone else on the call. What do you see and hear?
Energy is transmitted not only through what’s being said but also the pace of conversation. As I like to share in the virtual train-the-trainers I lead, energy is shaped through the levels of engagement of the group. Are we encouraging people to connect with the content in different ways?
Verbally through the use of breakouts?
On the screen through the use of annotation?
By answering questions?
What are you noticing with the energy of the calls you are hosting?
Several of the foundational principles we want to practice when designing and leading calls are:
- Less is more – It’s hard to leave time to engage people if there is too much content you want to, or need to, cover. If you can’t add time, consider asking yourself these questions which I originally heard from Master Trainer Bob Pike years ago - “What’s a nice to have versus what’s a need to have with the conversation” A third question of “Where to do”, can further help to identify where content (extra or supplementary) can go.
- Vary approaches – We all create learning in different ways. From auditory to visual to kinesthetic approaches. While learning styles have been argued about in many research circles over the years, I’d ask you to consider what you have noticed with this topic in the virtual domain.
What is important to explore around this topic of the energy of calls you are participating in, or leading? Check out your assumptions around how you are “reading the room” by asking each group member to share “one word which describes the energy they are leaving the call with”. It’s an interesting litmus test.
Enjoy your conversations!