You Are A Visual Aid
As a Corporate Storyteller, I travel a lot for work. I call home every day in an attempt to stay in touch with the day-to-day activities in our home. That way, when I get home I can try to “fit in.” (Maybe they won’t know I was gone.) When I call home, my kids sometimes put me on FaceTime where we can see each other. They will walk around the house and I can see the ceiling of the room they are in. Sometimes I can see their faces. Sometimes they put the phone down and forget I’m even there. I don’t mind because it almost makes me feel like I’m at home, especially when compared to a standard phone call (audio only). There is a lot of value in seeing them.
In this new COVID-19 world, we are all moving to more and more virtual meetings. When you transition from a live meeting to a virtual meeting, the person(s) you are talking to loses something. It’s something important: your image. You are a visual aid. So, try to use your camera. Not only do people tend to trust people they see more, but they also are more likely to pay attention when they have a face to look at during a meeting.
In an article from “Psychology Today”Dr. Susan Biali, M.D. wrote:
“Research shows that face to face time with others increases feelings of empathy, connection and compassion for others – feelings, and brain wiring, we truly can’t afford to lose.”
One customer told me a story about a day-long meeting that was supposed to take place in Las Vegas. Instead, due to budget reasons, it was moved to a virtual meeting. For this virtual meeting, hee required everyone to have their cameras on. Compared to the typical virtual meeting, he knew this would be difficult no matter what because that is a long time to be on a virtual meeting. However, he said it went better than the typical virtual meeting because when they could all see each other it made it easier to pay attention and have conversations. Also, you could see if someone got up to get a cup of coffee.
I know bandwidth can be a concern sometimes but, at a minimum, try to use the camera. If the bandwidth happens to be bad, then turn it off. If you start the meeting, at least they get to see you for a few minutes. That’s better than nothing.
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