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#WFH: Do You Only Talk Business?

The entire point of FROG is to get away from talking just about the business and the problems. We want to get to know this other person, even though we are connected virtually. We want to help him/her be the best they can be. FROG is what virtual leadership is all about. Do not communicate in a way that is controlling, berating, or panicking. Leading in the virtual world is about empowering people to be engaged. When we finish with the conversation, then what? What are the action items? Focus on finding something we can do for the other person by the end of the meeting, conversation or chat. Remember not to dominate the conversation, but to engage in it. Questions are the key.

If we use FROG to start or continue the conversation, it can be much less threatening. FROG can stimulate conversation. We will shift the emphasis from us to the other person and come across as interested and confident instead of detached and threatening. We really have two options. We can either ask the questions that invite the other person to speak or we can make a statement that is intended to get them to contribute a response. Questions are an easier and more open way to move the conversation forward. They invite interaction and feedback or insight. Questions allow us a clear and a direct path to figure out what is going on. We no longer need to guess, be a mind reader or a fortuneteller.

Another thing to remember is that everyone talks to everyone else online. We don’t want to focus on criticism or judging but instead concentrate on curiosity. Understanding why things are happening will get us a lot closer to results than judgment. We want to watch our emotions, especially negative emotions. Just because we feel badly we really don’t want to make our coworker feel badly. We want to talk with someone, not at them. FROG can help us to communicate intentionally. Remember that how we communicate virtually has a huge influence on engagement and satisfaction. Trust comes from communication and building relationships. The more people trust us the more they are willing to do for us. The more they are willing to do the greater they are engaged.

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