Join us today for an episode about improving communication in a virtual environment...

Today's episode is focused on making sure that your communication is at its best in the virtual world...

In today’s episode about investing in others through stewarding your talent, I talk with you about why communication seems harder in the virtual world.  I also talk about some benefits to communication in the virtual world.  I share some tips on what you can do to make it the best it can be.

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00:00:00 Thanks for joining me on episode 704 of the inspired stewardship podcast. I'm Shannon miles from ballet. I challenged you to discover your calling and find your third option so you can be empowered to live every day to the fullest. One way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend and Scott Mader. The first off is simply be intentional.
00:00:31 You got to pay attention to it. You gotta look at what's behind you. What kind of are you using a virtual background or are you using just the background behind you? How are you? Lit lighting is so important because the truth is if people can't see your eyes, it's hard for them to understand what you're saying. We respond to faces. What are you doing to keep people's attention and keep them from being distracted.
00:00:54 Welcome. And thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true color. In the inspired stewardship podcast. We'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact.
00:01:25 And today's episode about investing in others through stewarding your talent. I talk with you about why communication probably seems harder in the virtual world. I also talk about some benefits to communication in this virtual environment. And I share some tips on what you can do to make the best it can be when you're communicating online. You've heard me talk about developing your talent and what are the best ways to do that is through books.
00:01:52 But if you're like most people today, it's hard to find the time to read. And that's why today's podcast is brought to you by audible. Go to inspired stewardship.com/audible to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial. There's over 180,000 titles to choose from. And you can pick one and listen your way to developing your talents via audible. That's inspired stewardship.com/audible
00:02:22 to get your free trial and listen to great books the same way you're listening to this podcast. So at this point for a lot of us, we've had now suddenly tons of conference calls of zoom, video calls, time after time, where we're on a virtual meeting, or we're reaching out to folks that we've had to use to be able to talk to in person.
00:02:46 And now we're doing it in some sort of virtual way. And even though for many of us, the lockdown is ended. Things are opening back up. We're able to get out into the world for others. We're still in an environment where we have to do virtual communication. And I think at least for the near future, this is going to be something that's going to be real because the truth is a lot of employers,
00:03:06 a lot of folks have recognized whether it's an employer or whether it's you as a small business owner, or even just us as people we've recognized that there are some advantages to virtual communication, but there's also some disadvantages. There are some ways it can be harder. And I want to talk a little bit about both of those plus some of the things that we can do to make it better.
00:03:30 So obvious disadvantages, right? Whenever we're doing virtual communication. And it really doesn't matter whether this is a zoom video call, a Skype call or a Google meet, or even just the regular old telephone. We're often run into technical problems, whether this is the internet going down, whether this is a software issue or whether it's a, what I used to hear called in the it world,
00:03:56 an ID 10 T error. In other words, an idiot error. If you write that down, it's spells idiot because the truth is sometimes we as human beings mess it up and the technical problems can actually be less technical and more people as well. But the truth is all of those things are reality. And so you have to plan around those. You have to test your system.
00:04:18 You have to make sure that you haven't set up in a way that works. And then you also have to have a backup plan. So what are you going to do if there are technical problems? So I've been part of a, a training this month where every, uh, every Monday and Friday, we're doing many different trainings and they're, these are around a large region of the country.
00:04:39 And so for every training, we have a host and a cohost, both prepared to present the training. That way, if the host drops off in the middle, if they've got an internet problem or their storm blows through and knock them off the internet, the cohost can pick up and vice versa. So it's about having some robust plans in place to help with that disadvantage,
00:05:00 of course, one of the biggest disadvantages and reasons why communication seems so hard in the virtual world is because we lose a certain amount of non verbal communication. You know, even if we can see somebody's face on a video call, it's really easy to sort of lose track of what their body language is saying of their gestures. It's easy to also get distracted because oftentimes if all we're doing is seeing their face and hearing their words,
00:05:30 it's easier to tune out where if they were standing in front of us or are talking to us directly, you know, it'd be, you would be less tempted to check your phone or do other things that are actually distracting you. And so having that availability of distractions while we have nonverbal communication, being dying down and, and lessened it's means it's harder because we get distracted easier course.
00:05:57 There's always certain things that just require face to face communication, but the truth is a lot of things can be done virtually. I I've been running my business virtual since 2011. I've literally had clients in now, seven, eight, nine countries around the world. Uh, I'm multiple States. I'm able to serve those clients well through zoom and other technology tools.
00:06:22 So it's certainly also possible that there's advantages to communication in the virtual world, convenience. The fact that we can interact with people from pretty much anywhere from wherever we are instead of, and by the way, that's also a disadvantage at times because it also can mean that you're on 24, seven, it's hard to take a vacation or step away from things,
00:06:43 but that convenience factor makes it much easier for people to actually make the commitment. And, and the time it saves time around commutes and other things, it saves money oftentimes because it costs money to fly people across the country. But if you can actually use a zoom or video call or something like that, instead that can save money and transport and cost and travel costs,
00:07:09 it's generally fast. It also allows you, if you think about it from a company's perspective, or if you're an employee or you're somebody doing business and allows us to expand where we do business, it allows companies to look for talent almost anywhere. It allows organizations to actually find the best person for a position instead of just the person that's close. It lets us be a little bit more flexible and have a little bit more work life balance,
00:07:37 as long as we've set it up. That way it can, as we talked about yesterday, increased productivity, if you set things up, up as well, but all of this makes it also, you know, for every one of those advantages, there's kind of the flip side disadvantage. Also, it's a training thing. People have to learn how to communicate in the virtual world.
00:08:00 It's not the same. It's not the same to do it by chat or text or email. It's not the same to do it. Even on a video call because these virtual communication tools require a new set of skills that are different than what it took to be a good communicator in person. And truth is that's a new set of skills that people have to learn,
00:08:21 not just the technical skills of how to run the software, but the actual practical skills of how to actually communicate better. How do you keep your energy up? How do you make sure that the nuance of your communication comes across? Even whenever you're not there in the room with them, because you know, in the room, you can see things, you can hear things,
00:08:42 you can see the body language, the little micro frown that crosses their eyes. And you can immediately follow up on that, but that's a little harder to do even on a video call. So what can you do to make communication best? It can be even during a virtual environment? Well, the first off is simply be intentional. You've got to pay attention to it.
00:09:03 You gotta look at what's behind you. What kind of are you using a virtual background or are you using just the background behind you? How are you lit lighting is so important because the truth is if people can't see your eyes, it's hard for them to understand what you're saying. We respond to faces. What are you doing to keep people's attention and keep them from being distracted?
00:09:24 Are you able to, you know, sometimes share video and sometimes share slides and then turn that off and let people see the face and move back and forth between the things those changes in those beats help keep people focus and pay attention. What are you doing about your voice? Are you able to keep your energy up? Did you talk in a monotone or do you talk with some excitement and some energy in your voice,
00:09:47 be careful about this pay attention? The truth is to make communication the best it can be. You simply have to be intentional and think about what the communication is like from the other person's end. If you're going to run a slide show, have you tested it ahead of time? Have you had somebody else join the meeting and make sure that it works and you know how to use the tools?
00:10:09 And if you don't then set up a time and talk to somebody ahead of time so that when it's time to do it for real, you're ready to go and you don't fumble around because the truth is without that intentionality, then it is true. That virtual communication is much harder, but if you're careful about it and pay attention to what you're doing, it actually can end up being as good or even better than the communication you would have done in person.
00:10:38 Thanks for listening. Thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast, as a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you like this episode on the stewardship of talent, you can go over to inspired stewardship.com/talent and sign up for our five week series on the stewardship of talent.
00:11:14 Or if you're in the U S you can text four, four, two, two, two talent tips, that's talent tips to four four, two, two, two, and get those tips until next time, invest your time, your talent and your treasures, develop your influence and impact the world..


In today's episode, I talk with you about:

  • Why communication seems harder in the virtual world...  
  • Some benefits to communication in the virtual world...
  • Some tips on what you can do to make it the best it can be...
  • and more.....

The two words 'Information' and 'Communication' are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things.  Information is giving out; Communication is getting through. - Sydney J. Harris

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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