Today’s episode is centered on resetting a work relationship remotely. Most of us are hosting the majority of our business interactions through webinar/video conferencing platforms. We know that this limits our ability to use our emotional intelligence skills to ascertain someone’s engagement much less their feelings. So what do you do when you think someone is upset by a comment or challenge you have made?
You need to give the person a call as soon as you notice or sense that things are off. You’re not in the office so you can’t hope to run into them and determine if something is wrong. You have to take purposeful action. Can you wait and go through a few more meetings with them during the same day to truly see how they are engaging? Sure! But don’t let the day end without calling and clearing the air since you do not have the chance to casually check on them like you did in the office.
When you call, ask them what’s wrong and don’t dance around it. Be direct and clear in showing that you are concerned, hence the reason for your call. If they share that they are upset due to something you said or did, apologize. Apologize not because they said you did something wrong, but because your message landed in a way that you didn’t intend. In the conversation, level set on your intentions and how virtual conversations or discussions will happen going forward.
I would recommend you have a clear line in your meetings/conversations between personal discussions and business discussions. This clear line between the two helps each person on the call make the mental shift between a personal conversation and a business one, ensuring someone doesn’t take the business comments personally.
The challenge for today is to be more aware of each participant’s engagement and responses during your video calls. If someone is acting different or closed off, don’t wait, call them today and get back on the same page.