How do you create a natural conversation during online meetings or phone calls?
How many of you can relate to this statement:
“Since meeting online I have found it much harder to have a conversation that flows with someone else and often impossible to to get my point across if there’s more than two people.”
Mmm, me too. A seasoned pro in conversation has found the nuances of online meetings an adjustment.
This is why I think it’s important to share the tips I adopted to help me with my online conversations. It’s an evolution, if you like, from the telephone skills I have honed over the last 30 odd years. This is all going to sound very ‘about me’; however, I’m hoping you’ll forgive me and give me your responses too.
When I am on the telephone I always have my keyboard and CRM system open to record the most important details of the conversation. Action points to note, statements we agreed upon and the desired next action; however, I don’t always fill this in until after, and here’s why…
Using scrap bits of paper, I jot down key points to jog my memory plus any points that I need to make when there is a natural break in the conversation.
For those that know me will already understand that I don’t do scripts airing for a natural free flowing conversation. I let the other person lead from an open question (I wrote another blog about this – read here) enticing them to tell me all about themselves and that doesn’t always present itself in the right order if you’re running a script. The conversation can rapidly take a new direction at any moment too so making notes is a great way to bring those points back into the conversation.
The evolution to online? Well, this tactic has proven just as important when online. Dropping a note down can give you the opportunity to keep the conversation flowing.
When you try to think about the question you need to remember to ask over and over again it is highly unlikely you will be listening to what the person is saying and quite possibly miss a very important point.
Adopting active listening skills to every conversation you have, no matter the situation, will give you a super power to also be heard. Giving someone your undivided attention and hanging on their every word means your understanding will be deeper and strengthen the relationship you are building.
Put simply it’s the quote from Epictetus:
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Giving a person your time to listen will mean your own message will be better defined to meet their needs serving you both.
What has been your own experience of this?