Team?  We see each other once a year!

Like the executive team we worked with,  it is hard to be a team, let alone feel connected, when the only regular contact we have with our team members is the image of them in a half body screen shot from the webinar. Or some heated email exchange.

The challenges of making real connections are exacerbated when we have to work virtually.  Particularly for virtual multicultural teams dispersed around the world. And the challenge also appears in our hurried lives more generally. When the time we have with each other feels limited.

As human beings, we are social animals . We need and want connection. And so we seek it.  Importantly, we can always improve ways to do that. So whilst I do not believe there is a magic formula, here are 6 tips for enhancing the likelihood of making a meaningful connection. Whether it is with a complete stranger on a virtual conference webinar, or sitting beside a colleague we have worked with for years.

It involves connecting with ourselves, our true nature,  in order to connect with the other.

We connect with our…

  • Ability to be present. Whether reading an email from them, listening to a faceless voice through a screen, or face to face. We center ourselves, so we can give them our undivided attention. As opposed to “continuous partial attention”.
  • Empathetic compassionate selves. We remember they are a real person with their own joys and troubles. As we try to ‘get in the other person’s shoes’, we can see the situation from their perspective/
  • Innate curiosity. Asking open questions, we demonstrate our interest in their views.
  • Own courage and vulnerability.  We are open to disclosing our own beliefs, opinions, emotions and feelings.
  • Ability to listen deeply . We know how it feels to be truly listened to. So we offer that to others. And remember it is also possible via email.
  • Own sense of optimism and positivity. It goes without saying don’t you think.

Tips, admittedly also useful for speed-dating.

  • This article was also gifted to www.impactinternational.com
  • Photo by Tomas Sobek on Unsplash

 

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Cathy Teesdale
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Love it, great post!