by Sheri Andrunyk
The reality is that most of us are working and communicating more “virtually” than ever before—over email, social media and the many other means of connecting in this day and age.
Here are the three steps that will help you realize the tools you have to make great connections and build successful business relationships virtually.
1. First Impressions
Have you ever made assumptions about someone just based on how they presented themselves online, whether it was the professionalism of their email address, or if/how their website resonated with you (or if they had one), or how they write? Or how easy or difficult it was to find them, and/or connect via social media?
Not that you can please everyone all of the time (or should even try to); however, perhaps it’s good food for thought for how you may be perceived?
2. Words and Tone
Have you ever read an email or a social media post, and wondered if you were reading the person’s message incorrectly? Or, do you recall reading something that made you feel great, more connected with that person—noticed their friendliness, their smile, their energy and intention? Did you notice if it was written with insight and compassion and professional courtesy and servitude, or rushed and lacking those components?
3. Effective Communication
So much of how we connect and build rapport and trust with others, lies in how we first represent ourselves on all virtual platforms—from how quickly we acknowledge messages, to the “thanks” we extend when someone “likes” or “shares” something to support us, to how we brand ourselves and our businesses so it is clear who we are and what we bring to the table.
Although sometimes limiting, words/language can have such incredible impact, offering encouragement and enlightenment through new knowledge and assistance you provide to others, and confidence and credibility to engage with one another in business.
Paying attention to one’s style of writing and communication can shed much light on how best to communicate and support your relationship with them. It doesn’t mean changing your own style completely—unless that’s an area you want or need to work on. It does mean though, noticing the words they use, and providing what they need in a way that is relatable and useful to them as much as possible.
As outlined in my book, here’s an excellent solution-focused tool that is highly effective and applicable in person and online, called Positional Shifting:
You may recall your parents saying this over the course of your childhood, ‘Put yourself in the other person’s shoes’. That’s what Positional Shifting is, pretty much. In fact, there are three positions you can consider or evaluate, to help you better understand a situation, another person’s point of view or even their disposition.
• First position is what you experience being you; that’s your own reality.
• Second position is where you move from first, to get a sense of the other person’s experience or perception.
• Third position provides you a chance to appreciate a view from the stands. You move from first into this position, where you imagine/see yourself interacting with others (your team, staff, colleague, family, etc.).
Simply put, just like when you are face to face, listen carefully to what others are saying or writing; consider more than just your own perspective; always be aware of your own feelings and intentions when communicating virtually; and concentrate on a win/win approach; the best of you will shine through your message.
Here’s to your success!
Sheri Andrunyk is Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Inspiring Speaker, Holistic Business and Life Coach, Author and Publisher. Her specialty is working with small business owners and entrepreneurs.
She has a passion for all forms of meaningful communication, and has expertise in providing invaluable guidance to her clients, colleagues, and community.
Sheri’s new book Working from “Home and Making it Work” discusses time and choice management, work/life balance and shares powerful insights on how we can become better self-managers, an essential component to success.
For more information and to download a free chapter, please visit www.insightfulcommunications.ca.