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#WFH: Is Your Communication Clear?

There is a big difference between visibility in an organization and transparency. Visibility is put-ting everything out there and can add to the noise. Transparency is a focus on clarity, openness and un-ambiguity. This duality can be fueled by change and exemplified in the virtual environment. In the virtual world it is easier to have disagreements. This means if our communication is going to be effective it must be intentionally relevant, truthful and clear.

Visibility can still present false information. Transparency allows everyone to see what is being presented. It is a 360-degree view that supports total and complete clarity.

This can also be a power play. People working in a virtual environment can be especially vulnerable because (or maybe as the management) you can feel vulnerable and ineffective. They feel like they can’t control what they can’t see. They think if they could just have us back in the office where they could o-serve us then they could determine if we were re-ally working hard. If we were dedicated, we would be there early and leave late. But in the virtual world this doesn’t work. The real dynamic here is that they never really had control of us. Unless they are comfortable in their role, their power and their responsibilities, they can feel very vulnerable. Not being F2F can cause us to feel vulnerable. When people feel vulnerable, they can feel threatened.

How we communicate in the virtual world can have a huge impact on our success, particularly if our mission is to persuade, which is often the case for leaders, teachers, trainers, sales people and man-agers. Part of learning to communicate effectively in a virtual environment is training ourselves to really care about the other person. We are sometimes too interested in delivering our message and not willing to really hear the other point of view. We give little or no acknowledgment for their side of the story be-fore we proceed to tell them ours. Our first approach is usually to reason with them. If that doesn’t work, we go on the attack. We turn to attack talk because we are frustrated.

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