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Cover image for No fear of Videoconferencing

No fear of Videoconferencing

tscharke profile image Thomas Scharke ・2 min read

I'm used to being in an active exchange with my customers, partners, team members, etc.

As a #RemoteWork 'er I rely on video communication with different tools like Zoom, Skype, Slack, Spreed.me, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and what they are all called 🤷

And this sentence already contains the decisive and important point: Video! - in video communication.

My point is that the visual and thus the seeing and being seen is important and should be used. Like in a normal meeting in the coffee kitchen or a meeting room.

Because information is transmitted via the spoken word (7%) and body language, body expression (55%), etc. (1)

But very often I experience a certain shy of this direct communication and especially a shy of turning on one's camera during communication - of showing oneself and being seen. No matter whether it is a planned meeting or a spontaneous "let's talk about it for a moment".

This means that essential information is lost and it also feels very boring, unsocial and isolated to talk to a photo or a dark screen.

Sure, there is also the possibility to communicate only textually; but the direct communication is not to be underestimated - and turning on your camera certainly not 😉And there's hardly any "excuse" to refrain from this (tools and the hardware are available).

Therefore...

  • Uses every opportunity for a direct conversation, whether it is with a single person or a group of people.
  • Always turn on your camera.
  • Request to turn on the camera from/to your call-partner.
  • Make sure that you're well recognizable (light, the position of the camera).
  • Don't worry about your appearance (if you aren't applying as a face model 🤣 )
  • Prepare the sound and your camera before a conversation. Briefly check in the settings if everything works, if you're recognizable, etc. This takes less than 1 minute 😉

And like everything else in life, it gets easier the more we do it!

Having the direct conversation, whether it's just for a minute or, say, a full pairing session, is priceless. It conveys the spoken words and body language, body expression (even if it is only a camera shot) and creates a connection - a connection with/to your counterpart. It strengthens the relationship, the trust and brings us closer together.

And as with any conversation, things can be talked about directly and any "misunderstandings" can be quickly identified and cleared up/resolved. Because we not only hear what someone says, we also see the other person and communicate at eye level (visually seen).

So...use the direct conversation and switch on your camera - ALWAYS!

Sources

Discussion

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nicolasini profile image
Nico S___

Totally agree, we should aim to have all remote discussions to be video enabled. Only when sharing screens to discuss a particular subject is ok to not see each other.
We still loose some signal from being in-person, and the interactions could be a bit more "rustic". But I believe they are more than sufficient to collaborate and create value together.

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tscharke profile image
Thomas Scharke Author

Yes, you're right.

And if we're sharing screens, I'm totally fine no seeing each other.
On the other hand, to avoid this, you can log in with another account to see the shared screen and all persons (only an idea 💡).

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nicolasini profile image
Nico S___

Yeah. Multiple strategies there. Just concerned that most people’s home setup might be single screen, likely just a laptop