Humans make so many assessments based on facial recognition. Knowing if someone is happy or angry goes back to self-preservation at some level. In regular communication, we each give off many micro-communications that impact meaning and trust.
If you look at our book, “Seeing Yourself as Others Do – Authentic Executive Presence …,” it is built on those subtle messages that give meaning.
At the most basic level, we all can better understand what someone is saying by reading their lips. Those who are hard-of-hearing rely on seeing the mouth even more.
Masking of Nonverbal Cues
All of a sudden, this vital form of ongoing communication is covered up by a protective mask. Many stores have put up protective plexiglass windows to allow the cashiers to function with a lower danger of contamination. Sterilization is everywhere. Families are visiting loved ones in senior living locations by talking through a window. We are all adapting.
Effective communication becomes even more critical to make up for these missing cues. Giving context to the content is more important.
“Zoom” went from oblivion to a household word for “Videoconferencing.” School children are conferencing with teachers, friends are meeting remotely over a beverage of choice, and working from home is the norm for many, many people. My principal strategic technologist reported that school teachers have done a fantastic job of learning how to use the same technology that they avoided before.
Virtual Executive Presence
I have been an advocate for the power of remote video for over a decade. In a matter of months, it has become a standard tool for most business people. I’m sad it took a pandemic to for adoption. I do believe it will be one of the benefits gained from adversity.
The coaching we do at Change Masters requires seeing facial communication in both directions. Coaching wearing a mask does not work. Fortunately, a quality videoconference provides a close to in-person experience without the need to wear a mask.
Our experience with teaching remote executive presence had intersected with today’s technology to make one-on-one coaching a powerful tool over video. Plus, the time and cost of travel eliminated. The experience allows our clients to learn even more about how to be productive remotely. Building the skills needed for the decade ahead is now easier than it has ever been. We can go there together.