We have been meeting virtually for a long time, and the ability to use virtual meeting platforms to get people together is not at all new. My colleagues and I have been communicating and teaching via WebEx since The Latimer Group started nearly twenty years ago. But like many organizations, virtual communication tools have been just that… tools. But such tools have never been a way of life.
What used to be just a set of tools, helpful when necessary, have now become a requirement. The “helpful when necessary” have become “must have every day.” And that is a big shift.
My colleagues and I have been gathering insights for the last couple of weeks from various clients and from within our own team about virtual communication. In particular, we have been listening for what others have found most valuable and surprising. Because even if you are totally comfortable with something, there are undoubtedly going to be new learnings once you become completely reliant on that same something.
In nearly every conversation I have had over the last few weeks, I have heard something that startled me, over and over and over again. Nearly everyone I have spoken with has expressed the same idea. We have long thought about the efficiencies of virtual platforms, and how they let business go on even when we are far apart.
But nearly everyone I have spoken to recently has also talked about how surprised they have been by the power of the connection to others. Sure… virtual platforms bring us together. Yep. Got it. Check. Knew that long ago. But that ability connect to others when we are not allowed to see each other makes those connections so much more valuable.
In other words, virtual tools are about a lot more than efficiency right now. They are about bringing people together, which becomes even more important when coming together is a matter of life or death. And everyone we have spoken to is feeling that importance of coming together.
As I have written many times in this blog, the lines between our personal and professional lives are pretty blurry. Work-life integration has always been important. But right now it is a way of life. Our work hours are, by necessity, a lot choppier than they used to be because so many people are working from home and home is a crowded place in a quarantined world. So anything that makes safe human connection possible right now just became more than a business tool. It has been a connection tool, a lifeline of human interaction to the outside world. And that raises the stakes, and the value proposition of the tool itself.
Stay safe, people. And if you want to talk more about this new phenomenon, please join us tomorrow (Thursday, March 26) for a free lunch-time conversation called Observations from a Lonely Planet: Adjusting to a Virtual World. We would love to hear from you. Click here to register.
Have a great day.
At The Latimer Group, we believe that great communication skills can change the world. We transform people and organizations with simple, repeatable techniques and mindsets. We teach persuasive communication skills through an integrated platform of corporate training, coaching, and eLearning. To learn more about how we can transform your organization, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com
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