Connecting (even through a screen)

Many people complain about losing connection with their co-workers or the company because they work from home all the time. I think everybody recognizes being tired of digital meetings, and missing the physical presence of others. We are often not aware of how important it is for our well-being to be around others.

Nevertheless, we have adapted to this situation. I’ve been coaching clients for a couple of months now and all these sessions have been digital. I was able to connect with most of my clients and together with them go to a deeper level of understanding of what they were dealing with. We even did some ‘voice dialogue’ exercises in digital coaching sessions.

So I have adapted somewhat and the same goes for you. Most people can connect with each other through a ‘computer screen’. We do it unconsciously, but how well we are able to manage this depends on a number of factors:

  • Intention : with what intention are you going into a meeting? Is it to make a point, to get through the agenda? Off course meetings are held to accomplish something, but the more you ignore the dynamic of the people you are having the meeting with, the less you will get done. If you can set your intention (at least partially) on connecting with people, then your connection will be better.
  • Attention : what draws your attention? Are you even attentive at all? From setting your intention you can steer your attention to what needs your attention. Again, this may be the agenda or decision making, but it could also be the small non-verbal cues that your co-workers give (even on screen). In fact your attention picks up many signals from your co-workers, but not always consciously.
  • Awareness : being aware of your intention and attention will help you become better at connecting. If you realize that you’ve been distracted, bored, angry, anxious… then you have room to set your attention to your co-workers again. To truly hear what they have to say and see the signals they are showing. While connecting with people in digital meetings might seem harder, it is far from impossible. Setting intention beforehand (‘I want to really listen to my co-workers’ for example) and steering your attention to where it needs to be (‘pay attention to non-verbal cues’) you become so much more aware of what is going on. And still find room to go through the agenda and accomplish things.

Warm regards,

Tim

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