In an age where technology connects us in more ways than ever before, I believe that when you embrace the power of video you will strengthen your overall communication.
If 50% of the message is conveyed by our body language, why isn’t video used as a mandatory pillar in your communication strategy?
Personally, I prioritize video calls in my communication strategy and use them whenever I can in my day-to-day business. The benefits I’ve discovered are:
- Increased authentic connections
- Decreased misunderstanding
- Increased influence power
- Decreased likelihood of conceding quickly
- Increased attention and focus by all parties
Imagine receiving an email where the sender has only written “Okay.” Is that an agreement or merely just confirming they’ve received your message? Did the recipient actually get what you meant to say?
Imagine now you can see them nodding their head and smiling. You can feel confident that you’ve understood what they are saying. Developing an awareness of how body language plays a role in our communication is key to understanding the importance of video conferencing and how video can strengthen communication.
Are you saying what I think you are saying?
It is important first to understand the different types of communication and the role they play in establishing and maintaining relationships.
There are two types of communication: verbal and nonverbal.
Verbal communication includes the words you are speaking and also the tonality, volume, pitch and speed.
More importantly, nonverbal communication can confirm or contradict what you are saying.
Let’s have a look at an example where the nonverbal cues change the tone entirely. While speaking with a potential client, they say “interesting” with a head nod and intense eye contact. They are likely genuinely intrigued and would like to know more; however, if they say it with crossed arms and pursed lips, perhaps it’s not that interesting after all. Would you get these clues in a telephone call? Worse yet, in an email? Likely not.
The key nonverbal cues to be aware of while managing a business relationship include:
- Eye Contact
- Facial Expression
By using video calls you are leveraging these important nonverbal cues to strengthen your overall communication position.
Do you embrace video to strengthen communication?
First and foremost, when you can see who you are talking to, you establish an authentic human connection.
Through your body language, you can emphasize, clarify, strengthen your message efficiently and decrease the chance of misunderstanding. You are also able to see your audience and adapt your message accordingly based on what their actions are saying.
Suddenly, you’ve increased your ability to influence and, consequently, your negotiation power just by changing HOW you listen. In doing so, you’re able to assess the situation more clearly, and you are more likely be patient before conceding to terms.
Additionally, video calls decrease the likelihood of being distracted. During a typical day, it is incredibly easy to be distracted by emails, text messages, even the alluring idea of a fresh cup of coffee.
Now think about how easy it would be to accomplish those things while on a video call. Not very likely. Video forces you to be engaged and an active listener. The temptation to “just check” on something is greatly diminished.
This also means that your audience is less likely to be distracted.
So you’re sold on using video, now what?
With a wealth of service providers available and the ubiquitous reality of smartphones, tablets, and computers; there’s no reason why you can’t implement video in your communication strategy today. There are simple turn-key software solutions and more specific integrated service providers.
I had the pleasure of working with BlueJeans, a video conferencing service that connects people to drive business growth. I saw firsthand the impact that video calls can have on the day-to-day, as well as, the long term business.
By implementing a video service, people were able to connect face-to-face regardless of their global location. People were able to authentically engage with another person despite it being a virtual connection.
The number of people telecommuting has increased by 28% the past 20 years. Are you using video?
Unsurprisingly, with the advancements in technology more people are telecommuting. Over the past 20 years, the number of workers telecommuting for their jobs has increased by 28%, from 9% in 1995 to 37% in 2015.
As we continue to see the trend towards mechanization and automation, this rise in telecommuting is likely to continue. However, despite technology changing how we connect, we still want to work with people we trust and maintaining those relationships are critical to your future business.
By harnessing the power of video into your communication strategy you increase your ability to read nonverbal cues, you become a much more active listener and, consequently, a better partner. Why aren’t you using video?
Images: main image, kelseyannvere; children, startup stock photos; video conference, bluejeans.com
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Karen Hayward is a results-oriented marketing, sales, and operations executive with a proven track record for building and executing strategic programs that accelerate revenue.
She is passionate about the need to follow the voice of the customer and is able to operationalize customer insights to effect product positioning, sales enablement, and lead generation programs.
Karen is a pioneer in the cloud computing industry, having worked with SaaS companies since re-locating to the US in 2000.