Monday, 8 february 2021 | Redacción CEU
As much as we had thought that the digital world would definitely govern our lives, we never imagined that it would manage to do so quickly. At least, this is what we have felt in recent months in the world of work. We have evidence: our agendas are now filled with virtual meetings. Remote work has gone from being a rare bird to a standardized model in Spain. The unexpected and sudden arrival of the pandemic led us to quickly embracing a system of video calls in order to keep in contact with our teamwork. After almost a year of experience, we cannot just be indifferent; it is time to take control: Do you make video calls or do you master them?
We already know the technical guidelines. We know how to share a screen, send files, mute our microphone or place a neutral background so nobody can see anything embarrassing. Nevertheless, just as in in face-to-face meetings, there are some details that may make a difference in video calls. Do not remain indifferent any more, and follow these tips to master virtual meetings.
From assisting to standing out on work video calls
The art of knowing how to mute mics
Now that you know how to silence them, you should recognize when it is necessary to do so and when it is not. Logically, in the event that there is a large number of people in the meeting and just one of them is in charge of making a presentation, it is advisable to do so. That does not mean that you should always mute the microphone by default. In fact, the small inflections of your voice and the supportive fillers such as "ok", "I understand…" or "mmm…" make our interlocutors feel heard. Precisely, in a context like this pandemic, in which there is a great loss of physical contact, these small gestures and details provide a greater sense of closeness. Learning to distinguish when it is necessary to use them and be more empathetic is key. On the other hand, when there is a slight delay and we turn the mic off and on to participate, this effect could be even more pronounced. It is also an important aspect to take into account, as it might have a negative effect on the meeting.
Ours eyes also speak
Attending many virtual meetings may bore and despair you, but do not let these emotions overwhelm you. Our gestures in a video also matter. At a glance, it is easy to guess who is focusing on something else in a multi-person meeting. It is not only a matter of placing your hands or sitting upright, but rather of showing that you are actively listening to. How to achieve it? Mainly, with your eyes, since they also "speak". If we focus our gaze on the person who is speaking and lean forward, we show interest. In certain meetings, showing interest may be crucial, for example, when negotiating. A trick: place your laptop on top of a box so that the height of your look is at the same level of the people who participate in the meeting (if you use a mobile you can buy a small tripod to do so).
The importance of the trivial
Precisely because we can be tired of having this type of virtual meeting, it is also essential to leave a margin for informal treatment. Now, more than ever, it is necessary to have cohesive teams in which a lot of trust is generated and organize meetings between professionals that are less cold. This is generally achieved better outside than inside meetings. How to carry out this aspect on video calls? In the first minutes of the meeting, you can create that atmosphere of closeness in which you talk informally and share more personal issues. If you are the person who organizes the video call, reserve a few minutes before starting it in order to create this atmosphere. If you simply attend a meeting, try to be punctual and participate in these types of informal talks.